Pain In Left Side Of Throat
A sore throat is a common reason to see a doctor. However, when a throat is sore on only one side, it may be a sign of a different illness or condition such as swollen lymph nodes or tonsillitis. In this article, we look at nine possible causes of a sore throat on one side. We also discuss when to see a doctor. Share on Pinterest Some illnesses and conditions cause soreness on only one side of the throat. The body’s lymph nodes act as filters, helping to identify and trap germs, such as viruses and bacteria, before they can infect other areas. As they do this, the lymph nodes may swell up and become sore.
a cold or flu strep throat an ear infectionan infected tooth, or tooth abscess mononucleosis, sometimes called “mono”infections in the skin cancer HIV
Many common viral illnesses, such as a cold or flu, can cause a sore throat. In these cases, the throat may only be sore on one side. When the nose is congested, mucus and fluid drain down the back of the throat. This is known as postnasal drip. Continual drainage can irritate the throat, leading to a feeling of soreness or scratchiness.
A specific part of the throat may become more irritated by drainage. It may feel like one side is raw and inflamed. Antibiotics cannot treat or weaken viral illnesses. If a cold, flu, or another viral illness is causing the sore throat, treatment will likely involve rest and fluids. Tonsillitis describes inflammation of one or more tonsil.
The tonsils are located at the back of the throat, and a virus or bacterium usually causes the infection and inflammation. An infection in just one tonsil can cause pain on one side. It may also cause a fever, trouble swallowing, and noisy breathing. Bacterial tonsillitis usually resolves with antibiotic treatment.
- An abscess is a contained, pus-filled lump within tissue.
- It is usually caused by a bacterial infection.
- A peritonsillar abscess forms in the tissues near the tonsils, usually when tonsillitis becomes severe or is left untreated.
- It may cause intense pain on one side of the throat.
- It may also cause fever, swollen lymph nodes, and trouble swallowing.
A person with a peritonsillar abscess requires urgent medical care. In severe cases, it can interfere with breathing. The abscess may need to be drained by a doctor. Antibiotics are also used to treat the underlying infection. Many things can injure the back of the mouth or throat, including:
burns from hot food or liquidfood with sharp edges, such as chips or crackersendotracheal intubation, which is the insertion of a tube down the throat to help with breathing
If one side of the throat is sore from being scraped or burned, gargling with warm salt water may help to soothe symptoms. Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ) is a condition that causes the stomach’s contents, including stomach acid, to back up into the food pipe and throat.
pain or burning in the middle of the chestthe feeling of a lump or object in the throathoarsenessa dry coughburning in the mouth
If GERD goes untreated for too long, it can damage the food pipe and throat. The condition is treatable with medications and lifestyle changes. As the name implies, this viral illness usually causes sores to form on the hands, feet, and mouth. Sores can develop in the back of the mouth, near the sides of the throat, and one side may be more affected than the other.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease usually occurs in children under 5 years of age, but it can also spread to older children and adults. The recommended treatment usually comprises rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medication for pain relief. However, the disease can cause dehydration, especially in young children.
A person should see a doctor if they are unable to drink. Share on Pinterest Vocal therapy and resting the voice may help to treat vocal cord lesions. Overusing or misusing the voice can lead to lesions or sores on the vocal cords. A lesion may form on one side, causing one area of the throat to be sore.
- A person with a vocal cord lesion will usually notice a change in their voice, such as hoarseness.
- These types of lesions are usually treatable.
- Resting the voice and vocal therapy are typically used to correct vocal cord lesions.
- In some cases, lesions will require surgery.
- While they are among the least common causes of a sore throat, tumors can affect the throat and surrounding areas.
They may be benign or cancerous. A tumor can cause soreness on one side of the throat. It may be located in the back of the throat or tongue, or in the larynx, which is commonly known as the voice box. Usually, a tumor will also lead to symptoms that do not occur with common infections and illnesses.
a lump in the necka hoarse voicenoisy breathingunexplained weight lossblood in the saliva or bloody phlegman ongoing cough
If a throat is sore on one side, the cause is usually a minor viral infection, such as the common cold. However, it is important to see a doctor if the following symptoms also appear:
an inability to eat or drink because of the sore throata severe sore throat that lasts for more than 7 days swollen lymph nodes that get bigger as the sore throat feels betterdifficulty breathing, or a feeling of the throat closingtrouble swallowinga fever pus in the back of the throatbody aches or joint painan earachea rashblood in the mouthcoughing up blooda lump in the necka sore throat that goes away and comes backhoarseness that lasts for more than 2 weeks
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When I swallow only the left side of my throat hurts?
Tonsillitis and tonsil stones – Your single-sided throat pain could be due to your tonsils. Tonsillitis is when your tonsils are inflamed by a viral or bacterial infection. If only one of the tonsils is infected, only one side of your throat will hurt.
- Debris such as mucus, dead cells, and skin can also get stuck in the crevices of your tonsils.
- This buildup is called tonsil stones, and while people don’t always know they have them, in some cases they can grow large enough to cause a sore throat and trouble swallowing.
- Like with tonsillitis, they can affect just one tonsil.
Smaller tonsil stones can be removed at home, but larger stones and recurrent tonsillitis can be treated with tonsil removal (tonsillectomy).
Why is one side of my throat and ear sore?
Frequently Asked Questions –
What causes throat and ear pain on one side? Infections like the common cold, strep throat, mono, sinus infections, tooth infections, allergies, TMJ, and acid reflux can all cause pain in the throat and ear. Usually, you’ll have throat and ear pain on both sides. However, some causes are more likely than others to lead to one-sided ear and throat pain. For example, if one of your tonsils is more irritated than the other, you might feel discomfort mostly on that side. It’s also possible to get an ear infection in one ear but not the other. Conditions like TMJ can cause pain on both sides or just one side. What are home remedies for throat and ear pain when swallowing? Eat soft, cold foods that are easy to chew and swallow, drink plenty of cool fluids, and take OTC pain relievers such as acetaminophen for about 30 to 60 minutes before eating and drinking. What can help ease a sore throat and ear pain? OTC pain relievers like Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen) can help relieve your symptoms. Cough drops can soothe the back of the throat, as can cold foods and fluids. You can also apply heating pads or ice packs on your neck or near your affected ear. Keeping your upper body elevated if you have acid reflux can help prevent acid from coming up the esophagus into the back of your throat. This position can also encourage the auditory tube to drain if it is clogged with mucus or debris.
Why is there a sharp pain in my throat when I swallow?
Strep throat – Strep throat, epiglottitis, and esophagitis are some possible causes of pain when swallowing. Throat infections are one of the most common causes of pain when swallowing. These include strep throat, which is an infection with Streptococcal bacteria. People with strep throat may also notice:
swollen, tender lymph nodes on one or both sides of the neckpain in the soft palatered spots on the soft palate fever white patches on the tonsils
Does a lymph node hurt?
What are swollen lymph nodes? – When you’re not feeling so great, like when you’re coming down with something, you may notice some swelling on the sides of your neck. Those lumps probably feel soft and tender to the touch and may even hurt a little. Those bumps on your neck are swollen lymph nodes.
- The medical terms for swollen lymph nodes are adenopathy or lymphadenopathy.
- Lymphadenopathy is common and actually a good thing.
- The swelling in these pea- or bean-sized lymph nodes are one of your body’s natural reactions to illness or infection.
- Swollen lymph nodes mean your body’s immune system is working to clear away infection and/or invading viruses or bacteria.
Many people call them swollen glands even though they’re really not glands, but part of your lymphatic system, One of your body’s lesser-known systems, it’s in charge of balancing your fluid levels. Your swollen glands act like filters that help your body get rid of germs, cells or other foreign matter that passes through your lymph fluid.
- Lymph fluid is a clear or slightly yellowish fluid made up of white blood cells, proteins and fats.
- When you think of swollen glands, you may be thinking of swollen lymph nodes on one or both sides of your neck.
- But you can develop painful swollen lymph nodes in your armpits too.
- The medical terms for swollen lymph nodes in your armpits are axillary adenopathy or axillary lymphadenopathy.
You may be able to move them slightly with your fingers. You may have swollen lymph nodes under your jaw and in your groin too. You also have lymph nodes throughout your body that you can’t feel. There’s a network of about 600 of them (the exact count varies by person) in your:
Jaw. Chest. Arms. Abdomen. Legs.
Do cancerous lymph nodes hurt?
Almost everyone will experience a swollen lymph node at some point. That’s because these structures are designed to filter germs and other impurities from the body. Lymph nodes become swollen as they trap viruses, harmful bacteria and damaged cells, then attempt to destroy them with lymphocytes, the white blood cells that fight off infection.
- But swollen lymph nodes can also be a sign of cancer, including a type of blood cancer called lymphoma,
- So, when are swollen lymph nodes just a sign of infection, as opposed to a symptom of lymphoma ? We checked in with lymphoma and myeloma specialist Felipe Samaniego, M.D.
- How often do swollen lymph nodes appear as the first sign of lymphoma in undiagnosed patients? That’s kind of hard to say.
By the time we see most patients here at MD Anderson, they’ve already been diagnosed elsewhere or been told there’s a strong possibility that whatever it is that they have is cancer. That being said, in the greater community, swollen lymph nodes among undiagnosed patients tend to fall into one of two categories:
- Lymph nodes that patients notice or that a doctor sees or feels during a physical exam
- Lymph nodes that are found during an MRI or a CT scan because the patient is complaining of something else, such as chest pain or a lump in their breast
What are the most common places in the body where swollen lymph nodes occur as a sign of lymphoma? Most will be in the neck, because the mouth and throat — or oropharyngeal tract — are the main gateway for things to get inside our bodies. So, we need to have a good defense system there.
- But patients can find swollen lymph nodes in other places, too — especially where they lie close to the skin’s surface, like the groin area (where the leg meets the trunk) and the axilla, or armpit.
- Lymphoma is actually detected pretty frequently during mammograms, because the field of view also covers the armpit, so it reveals swollen lymph nodes in that area.
Occasionally, patients may develop swollen lymph nodes all over their bodies, but this is relatively rare. Is there a way to tell the difference between cancerous swollen lymph nodes and non-cancerous ones? Anyone who’s really concerned about a swollen lymph node should go see their doctor.
- Size : Lymph nodes are made to change in size because they’re doing a job. They grow larger as the number of cells caught inside of them increases and shrink back down to normal as that number drops. But the normal size of an average lymph node is under 1.5 centimeters, or about ¾ of an inch or smaller. So, if something is larger than that or growing continuously, it needs to be checked out.
- Age : Infections are a frequent cause of swollen lymph nodes among young people. So, if you’re a teen or a college student, my first thought would be something like strep throat or mononucleosis. Cancer is more likely in older people, though I’d still want to rule out an infection first. Even among older groups, probably less than half the people who have swollen lymph nodes will have them because of cancer.
- Consistency : Press the tip of your nose with your finger and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what a typical lymph node should feel like. Tumors tend to be harder and more solid, like what you’ll feel if you push on your chin with your finger.
- Sensitivity : Some people think cancer always hurts, but that’s not true. Tenderness tends to be a sign of an infectious process, because the immune system has been challenged. But lymph nodes that are swollen due to lymphoma are usually not painful.
What are other common symptoms of lymphoma? In lymphoma’s earliest stages, patients often report itchy, inflamed skin or unexplained rashes. In more advanced cases, where patients have large tumors, we start seeing weight loss, fevers, night sweats, and fatigue.
- Some experience painful muscle aches after drinking alcohol, too, though that is fairly unusual.
- When should someone see their doctor about a swollen lymph node? Swollen lymph nodes usually just mean your body is working the way it’s supposed to.
- But if a swollen lymph node keeps getting bigger or doesn’t resolve on its own within two weeks, get it checked out.
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