Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Quinsy is a disease that affects the tonsils

About Quinsy
Quinsy is a rare disease. It affects as little as 96 people in 100000. It is usually found among young adults or teenagers. Although rare, it can cause severe damage to the tonsils and nearby tissues or organs.  In most cases, early treatment can heal quinsy.
What is quinsy: Quinsy refers to Peritonsillar abscess. Abscess is formed when pus or foreign bodies or emboli are locked with tissues or skin. This is the body’s way of confining an infection or pus formation. Peritonsillar abscess is an abscess formed near the tonsil region.
Causes of quinsy: Quinsy or pus formation in the tonsil region occurs due to infections of the tonsil. It often is an outcome of untreated tonsillitis. Complications in treating tonsillitis such as surgical infections can cause quinsy. The exposed tissues after tonsillitis treatment are more prone to quinsy. Quinsy is caused by viral or bacterial infections such as those caused by streptococci, staphylococci and hemophilus.
Symptoms for quinsy: Symptoms of quinsy are similar to that of tonsillitis. Therefore, it is often neglected as tonsillitis. The actual symptoms appear a few days after the abscess is formed. The common symptoms are as follows:
  • Fever, mild to severe cold, chills or temperature, sweating
  • Difficulty swallowing food, drinking liquids, sensitivity to cold or hot food
  • Sore throat, redness or inflammation of throat, mouth and ulcers
  • Throat pain, neck pain, occasional ear pain
Symptoms of quinsy must always be diagnosed with care. This may require extensive observation and understanding of the patient’s history too. Any history of tonsillitis must always be taken into account. Common diagnostic tests such as physical examination, examination using endoscopic camera, x-ray and CT scan using contrast materials are useful for determining the location and extent of the abscess. A saliva swab and blood test too may help in determining the type of infection.
Treatment of quinsy: Abscess contains pus. The treatment for quinsy is targeted at removing the pus. The pus may be drained out using surgery by making a small incision. This often is followed by extensive treatment using antibiotics. In certain cases, topical application of clindamycin may be required. Note that if it is not treated, complications of quinsy may occur. These complications are ludwig's angina, retropharyngeal abscess, necrosis of surrounding deep tissues, septicaemia, mediastinitis,etc
In either case, the outcome of quinsy can be severe and therefore treatment is a must during early stages.
Thus, quinsy is a treatable disease if early tests and diagnosis is done.

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