Deep neck infections are a rare but serious issue. These infections usually stem from oral surgery complications or other dental issues, but they can have other causes, too. If you are experiencing neck changes, then it is important to know the warning signs of this infection. Below, we’ll go over the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for a deep neck infection.
What is a Deep Neck Infection?
A deep neck infection is when an abscess forms in the space within a patient’s neck. The infection can develop near the lymph nodes, tonsils, or jawbone, and might affect muscles, blood vessels, or nerves. Thanks to antibiotics and good surgical aftercare, these infections are now very rare. However, they are still a possibility, especially if you have recently had surgery or an injury near the infected area.
Who is Affected?
Deep neck infections can affect patients of all ages. They typically form as a complication after oral surgery or other medical procedures on or near the neck. They can also form as a complication of other infections in the area, such as sinus infections, tonsillitis, or tooth abscesses.
Symptoms and Warning Signs
The most common deep neck infection symptoms are changes in the way your neck looks and/or feels. Pain, swelling, and difficulty swallowing are all common symptoms. Patients might also notice problems eating, speaking, or moving their mouth or neck. Finally, general infection symptoms are also common, such as running a fever. See a doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Neck infections are usually treated with antibiotics. In some cases, aspiration or surgical drainage might also be used to remove the pus from the abscess. It’s important to seek treatment for your neck infection as soon as possible. Early intervention will give you the best chance of a full and easy recovery.
When to See a Doctor
If you think you might have a deep neck infection, then it’s important to see a doctor right away. These infections can quickly become very serious- even life-threatening. An infectious disease expert can help you get the right diagnosis for your infection. For expert infectious disease care in Houston, TX, call Dr. Sharaf Diwan today.