The medical term for a sore throat on one side is Peritonsillar Abscess. This is typically characterized by pain on one side of the throat. Most commonly, Peritonsillar Abscess is a more complicated form of tonsillitis. However, it may have several other reasons. The pain results from the inflammation of lymph nodes, tonsils or lymphatic tissue. It can also result from a bacterial or viral infection.
The left side of the throat is more commonly affected than the right side. Depending on the underlying cause, the symptoms may differ and so does the treatment. Let us have a look at some of the common causes of one side sore throat. The symptoms related to each cause are also enlisted along with the treatments:
Tonsils are imperative for fighting many infections. However, they can sometimes become a victim of an infection themselves. More commonly, viruses affect the tonsils, resulting in inflammation. However, sometimes there are bacteria behind these infections. One of the most common bacteria causing the tonsillitis is Streptococcus Pyogenes. This inflammation results in a sore throat and pain on one side.
Symptoms Of Tonsillitis
- Tonsillitis results in pain on one side of throat and the swelling of tonsils
- The swollen tonsils become reddish or yellowish in color. They may also have small pockets of pus, giving white or yellow appearance
- The swollen tonsils may make it difficult to swallow anything you eat
- Sometimes, the pain expands to the ear as well, and there would be swelling around the neck
- Loss of appetite is another common symptom of tonsillitis, and you may also experience low fever
- Seek medical advice as your doctor will prescribe the suitable antibiotics in case of a bacterial infection
- A viral infection can’t go away with the help of antibiotics. In such case, make sure you keep drinking lots of water
- Take lots of rest
- Over the counter pain relievers are mostly safe to use
- Avoid foods that need lots of effort to swallow down
- Eat smooth foods and the foods that are cold or warm
- Frequent salt water gargling can also help relieve the pain
- Cool mist vaporizer is another great remedy
Pharyngitis is a term referring to some closely related conditions. These conditions show similar symptoms. It results from the inflammation in pharynx i.e. the voice box. This inflammation results from a viral or bacterial infection. Some common bacteria behind inflammation of pharynx include gonorrhoeae, streptococcus, chlamydia, and Corynebacterium.
Pharyngitis makes it difficult to swallow, and the one side of throat hurts. Irritation and scratchiness are also common with pharyngitis. Pharyngitis normally runs in the family and becomes more common in cold weather.
Symptoms Of Pharyngitis
- Muscle ache and joint pain
- Swelling in lymph nodes, especially just below the neck
- A mild fever
- Consistent headache
- Skin rash
Salt water gargling is effective in getting rid of the pain and the infection. However, make sure you do it several times a day. When it comes to its effectiveness, even WebMd is a great spokesman of gargling. It shares experts’ view and strongly recommends gargling with salt water as an effective remedy for a sore throat.
- Drinking cold or warm liquids with lemon or honey mixed in them can also be helpful
- Cool mist vaporizer can help relieve the symptoms of pharyngitis
- Sucking popsicles and lozenges can also be helpful in reducing the pain to some extent
- Over the counter pain relievers can be helpful in treating the symptoms
Strep throat is a result of infection caused by Streptococcus Pyogenes bacteria. The infection results in a scratchy and sore throat in most cases. It is a contagious condition, and it spreads by sharing food and drinks.
The affected person encounters coughing and sneezing. The sneezing from affected person releases the bacteria into air which when inhaled can further lead to strep throat in others. Not only is the bacteria airborne but can also easily come in contact through other surfaces. When the hands get in contact with the face, they result in infection.
CDC website suggests preventing the spread of strep throat causing bacteria. This can be done by reducing contact e.g. not sending affected child to school for some time.
Strep throat is an indication of potential serious ailments which may follow. Thus an early diagnosis is crucial, or it may follow rheumatic fever or even the inflammation of the kidney. Although, anyone can become a victim but strep throat hits those between 5 to 15 years of age more quickly.
Symptoms Of Strep Throat
- Skin rash and the reddish swelling of tonsils around the throat are common symptoms of strep throat. Moreover, these swollen parts may also have streaks of white or yellowish puss
- The roof of mouth may contain red spots
- Fatigue and mild temperature may also accompany other symptoms
- The swollen lymph nodes make it difficult to swallow the food
- Moreover, you may also experience stomach ache along with vomiting
Treatment Of Strep Throat
- Antibiotics which the doctor prescribes are the first and foremost remedy for strep throat
- Warm salt water gargles may frequently be done throughout the day may significantly reduce the pain
- Make sure you keep drinking lots of water to avoid dryness of mouth. Drugs website also recommends keeping your body hydrated when you have a sore throat
- Take rest so that your body can save energy to fight the infection
- Avoid the foods which are hard to swallow with swollen lymph. Soft, cooked foods should be given priority along with fruits
- Besides hard food items, which are spicy and acidic may also cause the pain to worsen
- Since it is a highly contagious condition, the children suffering from it should not attend the school for at least a couple of days
Nodules Of Vocal Cord
Sometimes, sore throat may be an indication of small growths or nodules developing on the vocal cord. They might be caused due to shouting for a while or singing loudly. Any such activity which involves speaking in a loud voice may cause these nodules to develop, but they are not serious in most cases.
- These nodules result in a sore throat and pain
- Mostly, you would feel the pain on the left side only, though some may experience it on both sides
- Hoarseness may also accompany the pain and sore throat
- The remedy for nodules on vocal cord includes talking as much as you can until the condition heals on its own
- However, if the condition worsens, which is rare, you may have to undergo surgery for removing the nodules
These are also among the common causes of a sore throat especially among people who are sensitive to environmental factors. The ASCIA speaks of environmental allergens as a cause for such problems like sinusitis and sore throat. The irritants like those found in cars, automobiles, etc. can cause inflammation of the throat. Similarly, inhaling cigarette smoke whether directly or indirectly can also lead to a sore throat.
- The treatment of a sore throat is to stay away from allergens
- If you are sensitive to allergens found in the environment, do not travel without a mask
- Keep drinking lots of water from time to time to clear the throat
- Gargling with salt water is also useful
Having sore throat after some dental work is not something unusual. Especially after you’ve been breathing through the mouth for the entire treatment, you may get a sore throat in the end. Similarly, some debris after the dental treatment may get trapped in the throat and cause scratchiness and irritation. Besides, scratchiness, irritation, and inflammation, pain on one side is the common outcome of dental treatment.
Although a sore throat caused by dental work can be equally bothersome, but it usually doesn’t last longer. The inflammation would go away on its own without needing any treatment in most cases.
However, if it prolongs, consult the doctor for appropriate antibiotics. Moreover, it can also be a result of an aching tooth. In such case, it may result in swelling both in mouth and throat. The treatment would include extraction of the tooth.
A sore throat can be a painful and bothersome condition. It can greatly interfere with your eating and drinking. Moreover, sore throat can impact your ability to work. So, it needs to be treated as early as possible. Finding out the underlying cause is crucial for proper treatment.
So, instead of dealing with it by yourself, you must consult a doctor. Usually, if it is caused by bacterial and viral infection, it would go away with time. But it demands taking rest and not doing any such activities which consume lots of energy. Your body needs to conserve energy to fight against bacterial and viral infections.