Left Side of Throat Hurts

If left side of throat hurts, it may be due to inflamed lymph nodes, tonsils or lymphatic tissue. You may experience pain on one side of your throat because of particles becoming trapped in this tissue – this may also happen due to a viral or bacterial infection. A localized infection is sometimes the underlying cause of a sore throat. It is important that you identify the underlying cause first and then opt for a treatment accordingly.

Left Side of Throat Hurts, Why?

You may wonder why you have sore throat if you believe you haven't done anything specific that could irritate it. Here are some of the most common reasons why left side of throat hurts.

1. Tonsillitis

Usually caused by common viruses, tonsillitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection. Streptococcus pyogenes is the most common bacterium causing tonsillitis. This may lead to pain on left or right side of your throat.

Treatment: Your doctor will give you antibiotics to deal with a bacterial infection. Take antibiotics exactly how your doctor has prescribed and keep using it even when you feel better. Drink plenty of water, especially when your pain is caused by a viral infection because you cannot use antibiotics to clear a viral infection.

2. Peritonsillar Abscess

It is usually the more complicated form of tonsillitis and is the outcome of severe bacterial infestation on one tonsil. You will notice packets of pus on your tonsil with swelling and severe discomfort on one side.

Treatment: Your doctor may give you antibiotics to clear the infection, but sometimes, it is important to drain or even remove the affected tonsil.

3. Strep Throat

Caused by a bacterial infection, the condition leads to severe inflammation of your throat, often making you complain about that your right or left side of throat hurts.

Treatment: Antibiotics will help clear the infection. Amoxicillin and penicillin are the most common medications used to treat a strep throat. Be sure to complete your antibiotic treatment course to clear the infection.

4. Swollen Glands and Lymph Nodes

When your body fights an infection, it is common for your glands and lymph nodes to swell. Some people develop these tender lymph nodes on only one side of their necks, while others experience it on both sides.

Treatment: You may consider taking OTC pain relievers such as Advil, Aleve, Tylenol or Motrin. Don't give aspirin to kids. Applying a warm, wet washcloth to your swollen glands will also help. Be sure to get plenty of rest so as to help your body heal and recover from the illness.

5. Vocal Nodules

Talking or singing loudly for an extended time may cause small growths, called nodules on your vocal cords. These non-cancerous nodules could be the reason why the left side of throat hurts. You may notice other symptoms such as hoarseness.

Treatment: The simple treatment is to avoid talking to anyone for several weeks or at least avoid talking as much as you can. In some serious cases, your healthcare provider may recommend removing those nodules using a surgical procedure.

6. Dental Causes

It is common to have a painful throat after having some dental work done. You may notice the same if you breathe through the mouth throughout the dental procedure. Drilling may produce tiny pieces of debris that will irritate your throat and cause inflammation. An impacted tooth may cause swelling in your mouth and make your right or left side of throat hurts.

Treatment: You usually don't need any treatment for your sore throat caused by dental work because it recovers on its own in a few hours or so. If the condition persists, this indicates a bacterial infection for which you need to take antibiotics. If an impacted tooth is causing pain, you may consider extracting it for relief.

7. Environmental Factors

Irritants in the car may lead to the inflammation in your throat – this is more common in people with severe allergies. Cigarette smoking can irritate your throat and inhaling second-hand smoke is equally harmful.

Treatment: Avoid exposure to irritants to avoid dealing with pain in your throat. 

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