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Tender in tonsils and looking like red ball above tonsils. Hurting constantly and filled with pus. Should I be worried?

May 2014
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 6305 Questions
So this morning my tonsils felt tender. I looked and saw a blood red ball looking like its trying to come out of that little spot above my tonsil. The skin in front of it was pulled tight and the area inflamed. About5 hours later it hurts constantly, the ball has gotten bigger and pus is around it. When I say this ball is blood red, I'm jot kidding. Almost purple and very hard. Glands are slightly sworn but otherwise I feel normal. Should I be concerned? When should I see a dr? I'm worried how much bigger it will get and if it "bursts" and blood gushes down my throat...
Posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Consult ENT surgeon,might be peritonsillar abscess

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.

It appears that you are having an abscess in the area around your tonsils. If there is significant increase in pain and associated discomfort and enlargement of the the ball, it points towards peritonsillar abscess, bacterial infection in the area. It would be important to know if you are having fever and any change in your voice.

You should be consulting an ENT surgeon immediately. The abscess can cause pain, swelling, and, if severe, blockage of the throat. If the throat is blocked, swallowing, speaking, and even breathing become difficult. If you have a sore throat and trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, difficulty speaking, drooling, or any other signs of potential airway obstruction, you should seek emergency transportation to a hospital's ER.

If there is pus formation, as you say, the doctor will try to drain the pus and give you antibiotics as medication to be taken for a few days.

Once you are home, if the abscess starts to return, you may need a different antibiotic or further drainage.

If you develop excessive bleeding or have trouble breathing or swallowing, seek medical attention immediately.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Tender in tonsils and looking like red ball above tonsils. Hurting constantly and filled with pus. Should I be worried? 3 hours later
Thank you so much! Being that this has seemingly developed overnight and worsened throughout the day, how soon should I see a doctor? Temperature is 99.2. The pain is getting worse (especially when swallowing). Its not getting too much larger, at least not in the direction of the opening of my throat. The "ball" is getting harder. I gargled with salt water tonight, but wondering what else I should do to relieve pain, and most importantly how long to wait before seeing a doctor (being that it is a saturday night) .
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 11 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in with an update.

As I am unable to clinically examine you at the moment, I would recommend you to at least call up your local doctor or hospital and inform them about your condition. My main concern is your breathing and if you feel even a slight difficulty in breathing, I think we must not delay any further. I hope you have friends and family around you to help you out. You may take anti inflammatory pills after having adequate foodstuff.

Gargling with salt water is fine, it helps soothe the throat but just cross your fingers and hope your situation doesn't worsen any further. As there is an infection going on, the pain may slowly worsen with or without rise in temperature. Only a course of effective antibiotics can stabilize the infection.

My suggestions for self care will include taking enough water and fluids to avoid dehydration. Taking a soft diet is best in your situation.

Hope your query is answered.
Do keep me informed of your problems.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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