Right Side Throat Pain
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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- 1 How long does pain on one side of throat last?
- 2 Will throat pain go away on its own?
- 3 Why does the right side of my neck hurt when I swallow?
- 4 Why is only one tonsil swollen?
- 5 Why do sore throats get worse at night?
How long does pain on one side of throat last?
The duration of a sore throat depends on what’s causing it. Sore throats, also known as pharyngitis, can be acute, lasting only a few days, or chronic, lingering on until their underlying cause is addressed. Most sore throats are the result of common viruses and resolve on their own within 3 to 10 days.
- Sore throats caused by a bacterial infection or allergies may last longer.
- At-home treatments and prescribed medications can affect the length of time you experience symptoms from a sore throat, such as pain, scratchiness, and trouble swallowing.
- Read on to learn more about sore throats and what you can do to improve your recovery.
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, such as the flu or common cold. They can also be a symptom of other viral conditions, such as:
croup measles chicken pox
Sore throats caused by viruses don’t require antibiotics. They usually go away with minimal treatment of symptoms in 10 days or less. At-home treatments and prescribed corticosteroids can reduce the discomfort of these sore throats, which typically go away when the underlying infection resolves.
Why does one side of my throat hurt when I swallow and my ear?
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 does my throat hurt but I’m not sick?
Other causes – Other causes of a sore throat include:
Allergies. Allergies to pet dander, molds, dust and pollen can cause a sore throat. The problem may be complicated by postnasal drip, which can irritate and inflame the throat. Dryness. Dry indoor air can make your throat feel rough and scratchy. Breathing through your mouth — often because of chronic nasal congestion — also can cause a dry, sore throat. Irritants. Outdoor air pollution and indoor pollution such as tobacco smoke or chemicals can cause a chronic sore throat. Chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods also can irritate your throat. Muscle strain. You can strain muscles in your throat by yelling, talking loudly or talking for long periods without rest. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a digestive system disorder in which stomach acids back up in the food pipe (esophagus). Other signs or symptoms may include heartburn, hoarseness, regurgitation of stomach contents and the sensation of a lump in your throat. HIV infection. A sore throat and other flu-like symptoms sometimes appear early after someone is infected with HIV. Also, someone who is HIV-positive might have a chronic or recurring sore throat due to a fungal infection called oral thrush or due to a viral infection called cytomegalovirus (CMV), which can be serious in people with compromised immune systems. Tumors. Cancerous tumors of the throat, tongue or voice box (larynx) can cause a sore throat. Other signs or symptoms may include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, noisy breathing, a lump in the neck, and blood in saliva or phlegm.
Rarely, an infected area of tissue (abscess) in the throat or swelling of the small cartilage “lid” that covers the windpipe (epiglottitis) can cause a sore throat. Both can block the airway, creating a medical emergency. Although anyone can get a sore throat, some factors make you more susceptible, including:
Age. Children and teens are most likely to develop sore throats. Children ages 3 to 15 are also more likely to have strep throat, the most common bacterial infection associated with a sore throat. Exposure to tobacco smoke. Smoking and secondhand smoke can irritate the throat. The use of tobacco products also increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and voice box. Allergies. Seasonal allergies or ongoing allergic reactions to dust, molds or pet dander make developing a sore throat more likely. Exposure to chemical irritants. Particles in the air from burning fossil fuels and common household chemicals can cause throat irritation. Chronic or frequent sinus infections. Drainage from your nose can irritate your throat or spread infection. Close quarters. Viral and bacterial infections spread easily anywhere people gather, whether in child care centers, classrooms, offices or airplanes. Weakened immunity. You’re more susceptible to infections in general if your resistance is low. Common causes of lowered immunity include HIV, diabetes, treatment with steroids or chemotherapy drugs, stress, fatigue, and poor diet.
The best way to prevent sore throats is to avoid the germs that cause them and practice good hygiene. Follow these tips and teach your child to do the same:
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid sharing food, drinking glasses or utensils. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw it away, and then wash your hands. When necessary, sneeze into your elbow. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as an alternative to washing hands when soap and water aren’t available. Avoid touching public phones or drinking fountains with your mouth. Regularly clean and disinfect phones, doorknobs, light switches, remotes and computer keyboards. When you travel, clean phones, light switches and remotes in your hotel room. Avoid close contact with people who are sick or have symptoms.
Will throat pain go away on its own?
Soothing a Sore Throat What To Do When Your Throat Hurts We’ve all had sore throats around this time of year. Your throat feels scratchy and may hurt when you swallow. What can you do to soothe a sore throat? And when is it a sign of a more serious infection? Most sore throats are caused by viral infections such as the common cold or the flu.
These throat problems are generally minor and go away on their own. To soothe your irritated throat, keep it moist. “Ever notice that a sore throat seems worse in the morning? It’s because your throat gets so dry overnight,” says Dr. Valerie Riddle, an infectious disease expert at NIH. “Having lozenges or hard candies—or anything that stimulates saliva production—will keep your throat moist.
It’s also important to drink plenty of fluids.” For young children who might choke on hard candies or lozenges, try cold liquids and popsicles. Throat pain might also be soothed by throat sprays and over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, but don’t give aspirin to young children.
- Contact a doctor if your sore throat is severe, doesn’t feel better after a few days, or is accompanied by a high fever or swollen glands.
- These symptoms could be signs of a bacterial infection, such as strep throat.
- Taking antibiotics Prescription medications used to treat bacterial infections such as strep throat.
won’t help at all if your sore throat is caused by viruses, but they’re essential for fighting bacterial infections like strep. Strep is the most common bacterial throat infection. Although it can occur in adults, strep throat is more common in children between ages 5 and 15.
Riddle says strep can be harder to detect in younger children, because it can cause a runny nose and other symptoms that make it seem like a cold. “If your child has severe throat pain, a fever above 100.4 degrees, or swollen glands, you should get medical attention right away,” advises Riddle. Children with strep also may experience nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.
To see whether you have strep throat, the doctor will take a throat swab. If test results confirm strep, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. After 24 hours of taking them, you should no longer be contagious. You’ll likely begin feeling better within a couple of days, but to fully recover it’s important to finish all of the medicine.
- Strep is highly contagious.
- Treat it quickly to prevent it from spreading to others.
- Riddle says, “Not only can the infection be transmitted, but there are potential complications from untreated strep throat.” These include ear infections, rheumatic fever and kidney problems.
- Another fairly common throat infection is tonsillitis, which occurs when you have sore, swollen tonsils Structures in the back of your throat that help prevent infection by trapping germs that come in through your nose and mouth.
It’s caused by many of the same viruses and bacteria that cause sore throats. If you have frequent bouts of tonsillitis or strep throat, you may need surgery (called a tonsillectomy) to have your tonsils removed. The best way to protect yourself from the germs that cause these infections is to wash your hands often.
Why does the right side of my neck hurt when I swallow?
Pain in your neck to the side of your windpipe could be a sign of many minor conditions such as a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes or muscle strains such as whiplash or from bending over and staring at your phone too long. Rarely, pain in the front of your neck beside the windpipe can be a sign of a heart attack.
Why is only one tonsil swollen?
Risk factors for swollen tonsils – While tonsillitis can happen to anyone at any time, it’s more common in children and adolescents:
more common in children ages 5-15: tonsillitis caused by bacteria more common in children 5 years and younger: tonsillitis caused by a virus
Almost every child in the US may have to deal with tonsilitis at least once, especially once they start attending school or daycare. If you’ve noticed only one seemingly swollen tonsil on your child (or yourself), it could be a peritonsillar abscess,
A peritonsillar abscess forms at the back of the mouth and manifests as a pus-filled tissue next to one tonsil. These abscesses are typically a complication of tonsillitis and tend to be rare because tonsillitis is usually treated before the abscess can form. One swollen tonsil may also be a sign of tonsil cancer, although other symptoms usually show up along with it, like a chronic sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes.
Sore Throat On One Side: Causes And Treatment
Most cases of swollen tonsils that are caused by a virus typically clear up on their own. Your doctor may recommend some over-the-counter (OTC) methods for easing pain, like:
throat numbing sprayslozengesantiseptic solutions OTC pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol)
If a bacterial infection like strep causes your swollen tonsils, you’ll likely need antibiotics to fight it off. If you have frequent recurrent tonsillitis that interferes with your daily activities and doesn’t respond well to conservative treatment, surgical removal of the tonsils may be recommended.
Why wont my right side throat pain go away?
“The ‘run of the mill’ strep throat and tonsillitis are more often seen by primary care physicians,” says Dr. Flores. “ENTs see the more complicated cases that don’t respond to standard treatment. Many of these people have infectious mononucleosis, or eventually need tonsillectomies.” In addition, Flores notes that persistent throat pain on one side — or that feels worse on one side — may indicate a bacterial infection that usually begins as a complication of tonsillitis or untreated strep throat (peritonsillar abscess).
Why does my ear hurt on the same side my throat hurts?
Potential causes of ear and throat pain Some common causes include: Ear infections, such as otitis media or swimmer’s ear. Throat infections, such as strep throat or tonsillitis. Inflammation or irritation, such as from allergies or acid reflux.
Can you have tonsillitis on one side?
Tonsillitis – There are three pairs of tonsils in your throat. These glands help your immune system clear bacteria and other pathogens from your body. If your tonsils—or even just one of them—becomes enlarged or inflamed, you will know it. Tonsillitis develops when one or more of these tonsils becomes inflamed or infected, usually because of a viral or bacterial infection.
- While you may have soreness all over your throat, it’s also possible for just one tonsil, or tonsils on just one side of your throat, to become affected.
- Recurrent tonsillitis, or tonsillitis that threatens your ability to swallow or breathe, may be treated with surgical removal of the tonsils.
- This procedure, called a tonsillectomy, usually is performed as an outpatient procedure (allowing you to recover at home, rather than in the hospital).
Common treatments for more minor cases of tonsillitis include:
A humidifierLozengesFluidsWarm saltwater (for gargling)Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relieversAntibiotics
Why do sore throats get worse at night?
Treatment – The following strategies may help reduce snoring and OSA:
avoiding drinking alcohol before bedtimeavoiding nonessential medicines that can increase sleepinessavoiding sleeping on the backreaching or maintaining a moderate weight
If the above strategies do not alleviate OSA, a person should see their doctor. The doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device: A machine that pumps pressurized air through a face mask and into a person’s airways while they sleep. This helps keep the airways open, thereby reducing episodes of sleep apnea. Dental devices: Some people may benefit from a dental device that brings the bottom jaw forward. This may help keep the airways open. Surgery: If other treatment options are ineffective, a doctor may recommend surgery to remove excess tissue from the back of the throat or to remove or bypass airway blockages.
Allergies can cause nasal congestion and postnasal drip, This is where mucus drains from the nose and into the throat. Excess mucus in the throat can lead to itching, irritation, and soreness. Postnasal drip typically increases when a person is lying down.
feathers in pillowsdust and dander in mattressespollen from plants or trees near an open window
Can stress cause a sore throat?
Other contributing factors – If you happen to have a condition that affects your throat, such as allergies, tonsillitis, the common cold, acid reflux, or GERD, anxiety can make your sore throat and other throat symptoms worse. In moments of high stress, there are steps you can take to calm your anxiety :
Focus on breathing slowly and deeply. Breathe in through your nose and allow your lungs to fill completely. Breathe out slowly through your mouth. You can do this anywhere at any time. If possible, it may help to find a quiet, comfortable place to sit and close your eyes while you breathe deeply. Take a walk. Get outside and take a walk, paying attention to your stride and your surroundings rather than the things that make you anxious. Listen to or play music. Let your favorite music or soundtrack take you away. Or spend a few minutes playing a musical instrument. Focus on a favorite activity. Distract yourself by playing a game, doing a puzzle, reading, watching something that makes you laugh, or indulging in your favorite hobby. Talk to a friend. Reach out to a friend or family member. If you can’t talk to them in person, call or message them. If too many things are coming at you at once, unplug. Carve out some quiet time by turning off your phone and other gadgets. Even 15 minutes of quiet time may be enough to help you destress and feel calmer. Journal your thoughts. During times of stress or anxiety, writing may help you sort through your emotions.
In the longer term, there are some lifestyle tweaks that may help you manage and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress :
Get regular exercise. This doesn’t mean training for a marathon or powerlifting at the gym. Even a brisk 10-minute walk, some simple stretches, or a short session of yoga can help calm your stressed nerves. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try to avoid using food for comfort. Limit your intake of sugary, fatty foods, and focus on healthy foods that can fuel you with the nutrients your body needs. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Drinking alcohol or smoking a cigarette may calm you at first, but your feelings of anxiety may return with a vengeance once the effect has worn off. Becoming dependent on alcohol or tobacco can add to your stress and anxiety. Cut back on caffeine. High doses of caffeine can increase your anxiety and even leave you feeling jittery. If you feel anxious after drinking coffee, tea, or energy drinks, consider cutting back or opting for decaffeinated beverages. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep. A lack of sleep can exacerbate feelings of anxiety. Try to create a relaxing bedtime routine, switch off devices and electronics at least an hour before bed, and keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Learn to meditate. The goal of meditation is to replace chaotic thoughts in your mind with a sense of calm by focusing on the present moment. Research has shown that it’s a highly effective tool for stress reduction. Try breathing exercises. Doing specific breathing exercises can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with anxiety and stress. Visualize your happy place. Painting a picture in your mind of a place that makes you feel relaxed and happy may help calm your brain and body. Maintain social connections. Research has shown that having good social support can help get you through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.
It’ll likely take practice, but you may be able to stop a sore throat from developing. Here are some pointers to keep in mind at the first sign of anxiety:
Are you breathing through your mouth? Try to control your breathing by taking long, deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. Is your mouth dry? Have a cup of decaffeinated tea or a glass of water. Or try gargling with warm salt water. Are your muscles tight? Try deep-breathing exercises, stretches, meditation, or yoga to quiet your mind and calm your body. Do you have an anxious cough? Try a soothing cough drop or a spoonful of honey in a glass of warm water.
Occasional anxiety due to stress isn’t unusual and doesn’t require a visit to your doctor, especially if you don’t have other symptoms. However, do see your doctor if:
You frequently feel overly stressed or think you’re having anxiety attacks,Anxiety is interfering with your ability to function or go about your daily life.You have physical symptoms that concern you.
Remember, it’s possible to have anxiety and a sore throat that’s caused by something else. If you’re concerned about your sore throat and think it may be due to a condition other than anxiety, it’s worth getting a diagnosis so you can start any necessary treatment.
Anxiety can cause many physical symptoms, including a sore throat. When you feel anxious, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol. Besides causing your heart rate and blood pressure to increase, these hormones can also cause you to take rapid, shallow breaths through your mouth. Your muscles can also tense up.
This can lead to a sore or tight throat. Your sore throat may not be anxiety-related if it continues to be sore once you feel calmer. Also, it may not be due to anxiety if you have other symptoms like nasal congestion, fever, a cough, body aches, or swollen tonsils.
How do I know if my sore throat is serious?
What can I expect if I have a sore throat? – Most of the time, a sore throat isn’t a serious medical issue. Most sore throats go away within a few days. You should contact a healthcare provider if your sore throat lasts longer than a few days or if you have a sore throat and the following issues:
Severe throat pain. Trouble breathing or swallowing. A fever, especially if it’s over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius). A visible bulge in the back of your throat. Blood in your saliva or phlegm. Extreme tiredness. Rash anywhere on your body.
How long should I ignore a sore throat?
When to go to the doctor for strep throat – Sore throats caused by viruses typically improve within 5-7 days. Go to the doctor if you or your child has a sore throat lasting longer than a week, or if the sore throat is accompanied by:
Fever Swollen neck glands Rash Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Our acute care team at Medical Associates Of North Texas provides quick, in-office strep tests for children and adults. If the test is positive, we prescribe treatment right away. Most of the time, treatment for strep throat includes a round of oral antibiotics.
- You or your child may start feeling better 1-2 days after starting the medication, but it’s important to keep taking it until it’s gone to ensure the infection won’t return.
- Don’t ignore that sore, scratchy throat.
- At Medical Associates Of North Texas online or call our office at 972-695-8053.
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Can I drink cold water when I have sore throat?
The cooling effect of cold drinks such as iced water or iced tea can help to relieve sore throats.
Is throat pain normal with Covid?
Is Sore Throat a Sign of COVID? – With the multiple strains that have developed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping up with symptoms can be confusing. You may wonder if a sore throat is still a sign of COVID-19, and does COVID start with a sore throat? Yes, sore throat and COVID-19 are still closely associated, and it’s often one of the first symptoms.