Skip to content

Why Is My Throat Sore Only On One Side?

    Generally, whenever you have a sore throat, it occurs on both sides of the throat. You take various medicines and try home remedies and the pain subsides eventually. But have you wondered what is the reason for sore throat only on one side? What are the possible causes and what is its appropriate treatment? Well, don’t worry. Read along to find the answers in this article.

    Causes of Sore Throat Only On One Side

    If you are experiencing sore throat only on one side, here are some possible causes and reasons-

    • GERD- Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a condition when stomach acid moves from the stomach to the chest and throat. The acid irritates and inflames the throat and results in throat pain.
    • Laryngitis- Putting continuous strain on the vocal cords can lead to wear and tear. This further results in the inflammation of the larynx that can cause soreness in the throat only on one side. Other symptoms include continuous discomfort and hoarseness of the voice.
    • Tonsillitis- Another common cause of throat pain is tonsillitis. The inflammation and swelling of tonsils are known as tonsillitis. The main cause of inflammation is a bacterial or viral attack. Generally, a person who suffers from tonsillitis once tends to suffer from the same repeatedly. Hence, removing tonsils permanently is the best treatment to consider.
    • Swollen lymph nodes- Lymph nodes that run between the head and neck and are  responsible for the immune system, can get infected. This can make the lymph nodes swell and cause immense pain on one side of the throat.
    • Tooth abscess- People who don’t maintain proper oral hygiene or develop wisdom teeth or suffer from frequent oral infections, tend to develop cavities and tooth abscesses. Although the problem is in the teeth, the pain can extend till the throat. 
    • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia- There are several nerves in the throat that help food to pass through the food pipe. When one of these nerves- the glossopharyngeal nerve- gets damaged, these result in a sore throat on one side.
    • Cancer in the oral area- Prolong habit of smoking can result in the formation of malignant cells in the mouth. These can spread all over the mouth and extend towards the food pipe and throat. It can result in a formation of a painful lump making it difficult to swallow anything. Treatment primarily involves medicines, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

    Home Remedies That Can Cure Soreness in The Throat

    Here are some remedies to try at home to get temporary relief from sore throat on one side- 


    1. Take a hot shower- The throat normally produces mucus that prevents the throat from drying. Dryness makes the soreness worse. Hence, take a hot shower or place a humidifier to inhale steam from the hot shower moist the throat linings and have a soothing effect on the throat. Your voice won’t be scratchy. Additionally, the dried mucus also moistens and thins out from the nasal passages. 
    2. Gargle with salt water- Gargling with saline solution is the most effective of curing a sore throat. When you gargle with salt water, it reduces the inflammation as well as cures infections. Moreover, gargling with salt water also clears the irritants or infectious agents responsible for any throat infection. 
    3. Take enough rest- While the person is asleep, the body works to kill the harmful germs responsible for the throat infection. It preps up the body to prevent the body from getting infected again. Once the infection is cured, the sore throat also subsides. 
    4. Suck on throat lozenges- When you take throat lozenges that contain menthol, it has a cooling effect on the throat. The cooling effect in turn numbs the throat and provides temporary relief from pain. 
    5. Avoid inhaling allergens- Allergies can lead to post-nasal drip that results in throat pain. Therefore, avoid inhaling allergens such as pollen, dust or mold to prevent irritation and inflammation of the throat. To reduce the risk of allergic reaction, take over-the-counter antihistamines.
    6. Drink cool liquids- This is a doctor-recommended remedy. Drink liquids such as smoothies or ice water to reduce swelling as well as inflammation in the throat. Initially, the cold can be uncomfortable but eventually, the numbness can provide some temporary relief. 
    7. Drink herbal teas- Herbal teas give a boost to the immunity. The properties of the herbs heightens the body’s infection-fighting capabilities. Drink herbal teas such as ginger tea with honey, turmeric tea to have a positive effect on the body. Add herbs such as ginger, turmeric, Echinacea, honey, etc. 
    8. Give rest to your voice- In order to reduce the straining of the vocal cords, rest your voice. Sometimes due to sudden yelling or shouting, there can be throat pain. In such cases, it is important to give some rest to the voice. Try to speak at a lower volume till the soreness subsides. 
    9. Try pain killers- Although this remedy should be tried only after proper guidance from the doctors, some of these medicines can alleviate coughing and the associated throat pain. Try painkillers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen to reduce pain in the throat. 
    10. Sleep with extra pillows under the head- If you lie flat on the back, it creates pressure on the neck that worsens the soreness. Hence, put some extra pillows under the head to sleep in an elevated position. This will lower the pressure in the throat and thereby, cure the sore throat. 
    11. Eat soft foods- Stop eating crunchy or hard foods to prevent further irritation of the throat. Replace these with eating soft foods such as scrambled eggs, noodles, mashed potatoes, etc that can be gulped down easily. 
    12. Suck an ice popsicle- Similar to drinking ice popsicles, the coldness of the ice popsicle can help reduce inflammation in the throat and soothes out the pain temporarily. 


    Having pain on one side of the throat is a common condition affecting several people. It is not fatal in nature but delaying its treatment can result in complications. To get some temporary life, you can try the above-mentioned home remedies but these are not alternatives to appropriate treatment options. In case you run a fever or experience other symptoms such as nausea, bad breath, unable to speak or gulp, or dizziness, it calls for immediate medical attention. These are symptoms of something far more serious and require treatment without any delay.