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Home Health Why Does One Side of My Throat Hurt?

Why Does One Side of My Throat Hurt?

I woke up in high spirit one day, excited to start my day. Then I stepped into my bathroom to brush my mouth and felt pain around my neck. I was wondering why one side of my throat hurt. I tried swallowing saliva, but it felt painful too. So, what exactly is wrong with me?

Have you ever experienced a situation where one side of your throat hurts? Do you have a friend or relative who had similar experiences? Well, let’s find out what causes pain when you touch your throat outside. Or why you experience sharp pain in throat when swallowing on one side.

What Is Sore Throat?

It sounds good to see your doctor. But before that, let’s find out what sore throat is and whether that’s why your throat hurts.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine says a sore throat is a throat discomfort. It is a pain or scratchiness occurring in the throat that makes swallowing challenging.

Having painful sensations around the throat is a common experience. Yes! At least 13 million Americans visit their physician yearly over throat-related discomfort.

The primary cause of sore throat is infection or dryness in the throat. We shall talk more about it below. So, the part of the throat affected determines the type of sore throat. It includes:


  • Tonsillitis refers to the inflammation and redness of the tonsils. It affects the soft tissue located at the rear of your mouth.
  • Pharyngitis

It refers to pain around the right side of the throat behind your mouth.

  • Laryngitis

It refers to swollen tissue and a red sensation around the larynx or voice box.

Symptoms of Sore Throat

Have difficulty speaking or swallowing your favorite juice? Well, let’s find out if it could be a sore throat. The symptoms may depend on the cause. Here are the likely symptoms:

  • Scratchy sensation or pain in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Swollen glands or sore in your jaw or neck
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • A hoarse or muffled voice
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils

Other symptoms resulting from throat infections include:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting

How Is Sore Throat Diagnosed?

A critical factor in determining the treatment of sore throat starts with the diagnosis.

Physical examination

Your doctor may ask some questions and then conduct a physical examination. The process may include ear, nose, and throat (ENT) examination using medical instruments.

Your physician may also inspect your neck for swollen glands (lymph nodes). Next, it might include using a stethoscope to listen to your breathing.

Medical history

Your physician may either ask questions about your medical history or check the records. For example, they want to find out if you have an account of throat infections.


Your doctor may also conduct a throat culture or do a rapid strep test. The test involves using a tool to take a swab from your throat. Next, the technician carries out a laboratory test for bacterial infection using group A strep.

If the test result turns out positive, then you may have a strep throat bacterial infection. Positive test results mean you likely have a viral infection.

There may be a need for a blood test to determine the cause of the infection. The doctor may suspect a case of allergic reaction. Then, your GP may recommend you see an allergist for further tests.

For chronic or frequent sore throat, you may need to see an otolaryngologist. That means an Ear, Nose, and Tongue (ENT) doctor.

What Causes the Sharp Pain on One Side of Throat?

So, what causes sharp pain in throat when swallowing on one side? Yes, I get questions like this a lot. Why does my throat feel dry on one side? Why does my throat hurt when swallowing on the right side? How do you relieve a sore throat on the left side? Therefore, besides laryngitis and tonsillitis, here are some causes of sore throat on one side:

Common cold

At least 90 percent of common cold cases result in sore throats and are virus-related.

Fortunately, it will typically fizzle out on its own.

Home remedies or over-the-counter medication can help resolve the common cold. But if it results in a high fever, you should speak with a physician.

Acid Reflux

Reflux is a common health complication that occurs due to your diet, anatomy, or lifestyle.

Acid reflux can go beyond the issue of indigestion. Gases from reflux could result in a burning sensation traveling to your throat. And it may leave you with throat and ear pain.

Postnatal drip

Postnatal drip refers to the dripping of mucus from the back of your nostrils. Most times, it feels like there’s a mucus build-up in your throat. Typically, you may experience 1 or 2 quarts collection of mucus per day. But when you experience allergies or infection, mucus production increases.

As your nose drips, it causes irritation of the throat and results in sore throats. You could discover one side of throat hurts. You may experience pain in the morning after sleeping on one side throughout the night.

Swollen lymph nodes

The human head and neck contain several lymph nodes. And if any of the nodes swell, it will become difficult to swallow. In addition, bacterial infection, viruses, or other health issues can affect the immune system. In the end, it could result in a swelling of the lymph node.

An abscessed or impacted tooth

Abscesses could result from cavity problems. Impacted wisdom teeth could also lead to jaw problems. Cavity problems sometimes result in swallowing difficulty, ear, jaw, and neck pains. But you may experience one side of throat hurt. It is usually the side with the infection.

Canker sore

A canker sore is an irritation in the mouth that results in pain when swallowing.

It could occur due to your diet, bacteria, mouth trauma, or stressful conditions. Fortunately, in one to two weeks, you could experience relief from the pain.

Glossopharyngeal and Trigeminal Neuralgia

You can have one side of your throat hurt due to nerve issues. Trigeminal neuralgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia are two nerve-related problems. As a result, you experience severe pain on one side of your jaw. It includes the jaw, tonsils, tongue, ear canal as one side of throat hurts.

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia usually affects the tongue or the back of the throat hurt. So, you start feeling the pain when you swallow liquid or food.

One Side of Throat Hurts: When Should You See a Doctor?

If one side of throat hurts, it may not be a life-threatening situation. So, there’s no need to go panicky. It is primarily a bacterial or virus activity. But sometimes, it may be a sign of a more underlying health issue.

Are you experiencing increased pain even with medication? Then you may need to consult a doctor immediately. See a physician now if you notice any of the following:

  • Recurring sore throat that runs for more than seven days
  • Inability to eat or drink anything because of the sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes get bigger as the sore throat feels better
  • Having difficulty swallowing.
  • You are experiencing breathing issues or tightness of your throat.
  • Body aches or joint pain
  • High fever
  • Earache
  • Pus in the back of the throat
  • Rash on your neck
  • Coughing up blood
  • Blood in your mouth
  • Recurring sore throat
  • A hoarse voice that runs for more than two weeks.

Quick Relief: Sore Throat Hurts on One Side Remedies

So, if my throat hurts when I swallow, how do I get rid of it? There are different methods for treating stabbing pain in throat one side. First, you want a technique that gives you quick relief. At least, it would help if you had temporal relief from the immediate pain. Then, you can now pursue a lasting solution to the cause of the sore throat.

How to Get Rid of Sharp Pain on One Side of Throat

Home remedies are a quick fix for getting rid of the sharp pain on one side of throat. Also, they include regular home ingredients and require no extra expenses.

Home Remedies for Sore Throat on One Side

There are several home remedies for sore throat. The most common ones are:


Charlotte Smith is a Physician at Penn Urgent Care South Philadelphia Medical. And he says honey is one of the most incredible treatments for sore throat. Honey contains antibacterial properties for healing wounds faster. That helps in providing quick relief from one side of throat hurts.

Honey is excellent for reducing inflammation of the throat. It is also antiviral and antibacterial. However, Dr. Smith warns against giving honey to infants under age one.


  • Get a clean glass
  • Pour warm water or tea into the glass.
  • Pour two tablespoons of honey into the glass.
  • Stir properly and drink slowly.
  • Please repeat the procedure several times a day.

Salt Water Solution

Oral Re-hydration Solution (ORS) contains Sodium chloride, which is salt. And salt has antibacterial properties. So it is an effective remedy for providing immediate relief when one side of throat hurts.

The saltwater solution does not offer a permanent cure for sore throat.  But it fast tracks the healing process by reducing the pain. It also helps to loosen the mucus for free air passage.


  • Fill your glass with warm water. It should be up to 8 ounces full.
  • Add half a teaspoon of water into the warm water.
  • Stair adequately.
  • Pour the saltwater solution down your throat and gargle.
  • Do that for about 10-15 seconds, then spit the water out.
  • Remember, do not drink the water.
  • Repeat the process with a saltwater solution. You can go through this process several times a day. It will help hasten the healing process.

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas can offer significant relief from sore throat. They contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Teas like chamomile, peppermint, and raspberry will give you fast relief against throat aches. In addition, chamomile tea can act as a natural lubricant. So, it helps if your voice becomes hoarse.

Peppermint tea will give you instant relief for any throat aches, including numbness. However, please watch out for the caffeine content in teas. Products with higher caffeine concentrations will disrupt your sleep.


Like saltwater solution and honey, lemon is an excellent home remedy for sore throats. It can help loosen the mucus and provide relief from pain. Thus, lemons are rich in Vitamin C, which can help to boost the immune system. That gives your body a boost to fight off infection.

Lemon contains Vitamins and other minerals that have antiviral and antibacterial properties.


  • Get a clean glass
  • Fill it with warm water
  • Add one teaspoon of lemon juice into the glass of warm water
  • Drink for quick relief from sore throat.

Hot Sauce

You think it strange to use hot sauce to relieve a sore throat. But this remedy is a proven treatment for sore throats. Hot sauce originates from peppers, which are high in capsaicin.

Capsaicin can fight inflammation and provide relief. Unfortunately, it may burn at first. But put a few drops of hot sauce into a glass of warm water and gargle. It might just be the proper remedy you need to cure your sore throat.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an incredible product for essential health and hygiene needs at home. For example, it contains antibacterial properties. And that can help reduce the effect of a sore throat fast. Fortunately, it is affordable and available in most homes.


  • Fill your glass cup with about 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Put a pinch of baking soda into the warm water.
  • Add a pinch of salt into the warm water also and stir.
  • Then pour a portion of the mixture into your mouth.
  • Please ensure the mixture gets to your throat region but do not swallow.
  • Gargle for about 15 to 20 seconds and spit it into the sink.
  • Repeat the process several times per day.


Garlic is a great vegetable in the same category as onion. It has magical healing properties for antibacterial and antiviral purposes. Thus, garlic reduces the effect of free radicals, inflammation and provides quick relief to a sore throat.

You can simply peel about three to five cloves out of the bulb and chew. It should give you quick relief.

There are more home remedies for quick relief when one side of throat hurts. A sore throat will heal on its own in about five to 14 days. However, if symptoms persist or become severe, please see your doctor immediately.

Which Medicine is Best for Throat Pain?

So, how do you relieve a sore throat on the left side or right side? To provide the answer to why does one side of my throat hurt treatment? Viral tonsillitis will heal on its own in less than two weeks.

You can get quick relief by using home remedies. However, bacterial tonsillitis and strep throat require antibiotics administration. Please see your doctor for recommendations. You should treat strep throat to avoid further complications. Please ensure you complete the entire dosage of antibiotics. Even if you feel well before completing the treatment, you should continue taking the drugs.

You could try these over-the-counter treatments for sore throat:

  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Aspirin

Avoid giving aspirin to children and teenagers. Aspiring can cause a health complication called Reye’s syndrome.

Other fast medicinal solution to sore throat includes:

  • Use antiseptic sore throat spray like phenol, eucalyptus, or menthol. Applying it on the one side of throat hurting you will bring immediate relief.
  • Cough syrup
  • Throat lozenges
  • Neuropathic drugs like pregabalin (Lyrica), carbamazepine (Tegretol) or gabapentin (Neurontin). The above medication works best for trigeminal neuralgia or glossopharyngeal neuralgia.

Fortunately, a case of one side of throat hurts is not a fatal issue. But you should do everything possible to stay healthy always. Remember, self-medication may not always be the best solution. Speak with your physician about sore throat and other health issues today.



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