Sore Throat On One Side: A Detailed Guide

Everyone gets an inflamed throat, a nuisance that disappears in a week or so. Yet, sore throats can sometimes show a severe illness that necessitates antibiotic treatment. And, on rare occasions, they may be the result of an unlikely circumstance.

A sore throat is a frequent ailment. It arises from infections with a variety of viruses or bacteria.

Allergies and dry airflow from ventilation are some of the primary causative agents. More so, smoke, dust, and debris from smoking tobacco and other pollutants. Then, vocal straining, or acid reflux, are possible reasons for inflammation.

A scratchy or irritable throat, for example, can blister or make swallowing difficult. And a bothersome cough follows, which irritates the already hurting throat.

A painful throat is a sign of various ailments, from the cold or flu to glandular fever. Whenever a throat is hurting on only one side, it could state a particular health issue.

This comprehensive guide will help you identify the possible causative agents. It will also help with prevention and symptoms.  Then finally, you get possible ways to treat each condition.

The Main Reasons Behind an Inflamed Throat on One Side

An irritated pharynx is an agonizing result of getting an infection or injury. Nonetheless, you may find that your esophagus may not be uncomfortable at all times. What does it mean if your throat is only hurting on one side?

Below are various plausible causes for this physical discomfort in the throat;


Pathogenic contamination is additionally the most well-known reason for tonsillitis. Or irritation of the tonsils toward the rear of the pharynx. For 2 or 3 days, the severe throat infection, even from a pessimistic standpoint, improves in a week.

It can, nonetheless, be due to bacterial contamination. It influences youths, youngsters, and youthful grown-ups the most. But, it can likewise affect more seasoned individuals.

Several fundamental qualities can assist you with choosing whether you need anti-infection agents. Suppose you have any of the accompanying signs, visit your primary care physician. Or visit a drug specialist for a definitive diagnosis;

  • If you have a painful throat that does not have a cough
  • If your body temperature is high
  • If the glands on the front of your neck are swollen and sore
  • You see whitish gunk on the back of the throat after flashing a flashlight into your mouth.

A tonsillar abscess is even worse. It manifests, causing trouble breathing, ingesting even saliva, or opening your mouth. When the pain is on one side of your throat, seek medical attention immediately.

Postnasal Drip

Viral diseases like the regular cold and influenza may cause your throat to swell. And when the infection is on one side of the throat, you feel localized pain there.

One indicator of postnasal drip is phlegm and fluid accumulation towards the backside. And this happens when you have a clogged nasal area. A constant release can aggravate the throat giving you a painful sensation.

Suction may irritate a particular part of the pharynx: one part may appear raw and aggravated.

You cannot treat or reduce viral infections using an antibiotic medication. Other remedies become viable when the painful throat results from a cold or influenza. Viral contaminants use antivirus medications.

A physician might recommend rest and fluids as the best course of action to take.

Lymph Node Swelling

The lymph nodes are in the region connecting the head and the neck. The formation of swollen lymph nodes can arise due to viral or bacterial infection. And this causes expansion and distress.

If the intensified lymph node is only on one side, this could convey torture swooning. If your swollen lymph nodes are bacterial, you should see an expert get antimicrobials. But if the results come out that the inflammation was viral, the physician will offer an alternative. They will prescribe an antiviral medication plus extra home remedies.

An assortment of issues may result in your neck lymph nodes swelling. They including:

  • A cold or influenza
  • Strep throat
  • Ear contamination
  • Tooth contamination
  • Mononucleosis
  • Skin infection
  • Cancer
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Peritonsillar Sore

Peritonsillar Lesion is a bacterial disease that arises when you do not treat strep. It may also occur from untreated tonsillitis. A discharge-filled sac that affects one of your tonsils is the most well-known sign.

If the situation has become chronic, the peritonsillar sore tends to form neighboring the tonsils. As a result, you might end up having soreness concentrated on one side of your esophagus.

This condition’s symptoms are indistinguishable from tonsillitis and strep throat signs. Yet, you will notice a boil towards the back of your throat in this state. This appears to be a whitish blister or bubbling wound. Here are some prodromes:

  • Infection of the tonsils( one or both sides)
  • Chills or fevers
  • trouble opening your mouth
  • Hard to swallow saliva
  • Face or neck swelling
  • Headache
  • Inaudible voice
  • The sore neck on one side
  • Swollen throat glands and earache on the side of painful throat

Dental Issue

Bacterial malady results in a periapical boil, which is an aggregation of body fluid. This discharge fills pocket structures at the tooth’s root tip.

This ailment may cause excruciating discomfort on one side of the face. And this would foster pain that extends along your jawbone. You may even notice that you have distended and benign lymph lumps in those same regions.

Extra indicators that show tooth and dental infection are:

  • Intolerance to cold and hot conditions
  • sensitive, swollen lymph nodes beneath the jaw or the neck
  • Discomfort when chewing
  • Fever
  • Edema in the face or cheek

Wisdom teeth that don’t have enough freedom to develop are susceptible to infection.

In any case, once these teeth sprout from the gums, they’re difficult to keep clean. And this makes them vulnerable to infection. Infections of the wisdom teeth can cause distress in the jaw, making it difficult to open your mouth.

If you experience problems, your dentist will most probably recommend that they pull them out. If you have a tooth infection, an orthodontist may place a tube to drain the mucus. The physician may also prescribe antibiotics in this case.

Acid Reflux

A sore throat caused by stomach reflux may appear to be an odd reason. Heartburn is a burning ache behind your breastbone. It’s an after effect of acid moving from your stomach flowing back into your esophagus.

When you take a nap, the acid may flow into your mouth without fighting gravity, leaving a sour taste in your throat. In any event, if you’re accustomed to sleeping on one side, your reflux may damage one side of your throat.

This acid can produce discomfort as well as an unpleasant cough in rare cases. Don’t be in shock if your doctor asks about dyspepsia if you have a recurrent sore throat.

Additional manifestations of GERD usually involve:

  • Chest discomfort or burning
  • Throat lump
  • Hoarseness
  • Dry cough
  • Tongue burning.

Acid reflux can cause serious harm to the digestive system and neck if left untreated for a long time. Treatment and lifestyle changes can aid in the treatment of the condition.

Throat Injury

You can injure your throat by a variety of things. If you enjoy hot foods and beverages, plus treats with jagged corners like chips or crackers, you’re prone to injure your esophagus.

Furthermore, having a tube placed in your throat for breathing may cause pain in one area of your throat.

Here is the treatment if one side of the throat is uncomfortable after scraping or burning. Slurp your mouth with lukewarm salty water to relieve symptoms.

Vocal Cord Lesions

Excessive usage or exploitation of the voice can cause vocal cord abscesses. Irritation on one side of the throat may cause discomfort.

A person with vocal string damage will most likely experience raspiness. Regardless, the majority of these lesions have plausible treatments.

Some conditions demand vocal rest and vocal therapy, while others entail operation.

Hand, Mouth, And Foot Illness

Injuries may show up in the back of the mouth and along the sidewalls of the throat. And this may cause one side of the mouth to be more influenced than the other.

Hand, foot, and mouth illnesses are generally regular in kids younger than five. Yet they can influence more seasoned children and grown-ups too.

Most physicians recommend therapy that includes rest, water, and over-the-counter prescription medicines. Yet, if you cannot swallow water, the disease might escalate in young newborns. When you’re unable to swallow, seek immediate medical attention.


One part of the neck may become irritated by a tumor. It could be on the tongue in the corner of the mouth, or the larynx, or the voice box.

Doctors diagnose manifestations not seen with chronic diseases as tumors.

Other conceivable extra signs incorporate;

  • A lump in the neck
  • a raspy voice,
  • loud breathing
  • abnormal loss of weight
  • bloody mucus
  • a persistent cough

Canker Lesions

The interiors of your mouth are the primary areas that get sore by this sort of infection. Only the cheeks, under the tongue, lips, and the back of the throat where you get irritated. Round, small blisters with a red and white center are the most frequent canker sores.

They may appear insignificant, but they can be distressing. When an ulcer forms in the back area of your throat, you may feel pain on one side.

Having an ulcer in your throat can cause difficult assimilation on one side of your throat. Mouth wounds, germs, stress, dietary issues, and other factors are to blame.

There usually are two options of treatment in case the canker sore fails to disappear after a few days. You can opt for a tongue rinse or use oral medication.


Epiglottitis manifests as pain while gargling, vocal changes, a fever, and breathing difficulties.

The only way to treat this sort of infection is to open your throat and use treatment. You use antibacterials to cure a bacterial disease or symptomatic relief for a viral illness.

Trigeminal And Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

These are rare nerve illnesses. It causes excruciating pain in the inner ear, mouth, tonsils, jawline, or side of the face. The pain usually affects only one side of your face due to nerves in your head and neck.

Physicians treat both disorders with chronic pain medications like Tegretol, Neurontin, or Lyrica.

When Should You See A Doctor?

If any of the following side effects occur, I strongly recommend that you see a doctor:

  • A severe painful throat that lasts for more than a week
  • Swollen lymph nodes that increase in size as the sore throat gets better
  • Gulping
  • A high temperature
  • A discharge in the back of the throat
  • Having trouble breathing or a sensation of the throat closing
  • Torment in the joints
  • An infection in the ear
  • Blood in the mouth when you cough
  • The nectar organ has a bulge in it.

You may speak to a doctor online and get a prescription the appropriate way. All this is thanks to technological advancements in this current day. Regardless, if you can see a doctor in person, the doctor will make a more accurate diagnosis.

The doctor will go over your symptoms with you and conduct a physical. Next, they order any required lab tests, diagnose the condition, and recommend a course of action.

Keep in mind that serious complications can become life-threatening. So it’s best to get medical advice in case.

Bottom Line

Waking up in the morning and noting that you have a sore throat is very uncomfortable. But don’t just take up a popsicle and go about your tasks of the day. Do some research on how to go about the soreness, especially if you are experiencing it on one side of your throat.

Whenever it pertains to one-sided swallowing pain, there are some factors to consider. Some of the reasons behind that pain maybe reflux, swollen lymph nodes, postnasal drip, or tonsillitis. And it could also be abscess, laryngitis, and various other conditions I have highlighted above.

If your symptoms linger, you should seek medical advice to determine the source of the issue. To decide what measures to take, contact your physician.

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