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Swollen tonsil accompanied by ear pain
Thesporksofdoom posted:

A few days ago it seemed that my allergies were acting up. I am not positive of this because I have only developed allergies within the past year. But my symptoms were primarily a post nasal drip with a sensitive throat, the mucus was clear as far as I could tell. My throat started getting worse only on the right side. My right lymph node was also swollen and tender. I used a neti pot for the first time as advised by my doctor to attempt to combat the post nasal drip which seems to be the associated cause of the sore throat. After using the neti pot my right ear began to hurt. It has been mildly hurting for the last 24 hours with only slight improvement. When I swallow not only does the right side of my throat hurt I also get a sharp pain my right ear.
It appears that my right tonsil has become infected. When I look at it, it is covered in whitish spots and the surrounding tissue is red. (only on the right side) This morning my throat pain was pretty terrible it kept waking me from my sleep. It seems to improved slightly as it is not as generally sore and doesn't hurt quite as much to swallow. I have been more fatigued then usual the past few days. I have not had a fever that I am aware of, and no fever like symptoms. Though I have been taking ibuprofen regularly for the pain, allergy medication, and using a saline nasal mist.
I am wondering how long I should wait before I go see a doctor.

While I am generally healthy I seem fairly susceptible to sore throats, particularly strep. about six months ago I went to urgent care with a sore throat with white spots and a fever. They didn't take a mouth swab but told be it was probably strep or tonsillitis and prescribed me antibiotics. And it cleared up fine after that. This is the first time I have had one sided throat symptoms. I am also wondering if it is possible that I have something wrong with my tonsils.

Any advice is much appreciated!
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
It is okay to see your medical provider now.....having a hands-on examination, and perhaps, a rapid Strep test, is really the only way to get to the bottom of this problem. Unfortunately, I cannot determine if you have a tonsillar issue without an exam, but one-sided tonsillar pain and swelling can be potentially serious if this were an emerging peritonsillar abscess. Again, without an exam, there is no way for me to blindly make that important call.

Strep...viruses (including mono)....and allergies all can play a role. If you sleep primarily with your right side "down", gravity may cause more post-nasal drainage to stream down this side, causing the tonsils to react.

Rather than have an urgent care medical provider shell out antibiotics for Strep, it would be best to have a confirmatory test FIRST. Many things can "look" like Strep, and actually be viral.

So...get it checked out and let me know what happens.
jrlilshortys responded:
am now having these same issues the swelling of my tonsil has now moved to my right ear and the top right roof of my mouth and getting much worst had this for 2 weeks now geez it hurts alot the ear and top of my mouth just became inflamed over nighti woke up 4am now i can hardly swallow anything.. when u got it checked what did the doctor say??
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to jrlilshortys's response:
He probably said, "What took you so long to get medical care?". And, that is what I would like to advise you as well. If you have been having these issues for two weeks now, and it is becoming worse to the point where you cannot swallow anything, I would strongly suggest that you see a medical provider as soon as you can.
Thesporksofdoom replied to jrlilshortys's response:
My symptoms cleared up mostly on their own before I managed to get an appointment with my doctor. (there is always at least a months wait when scheduling appointments here)
However once I met with my physician the seemed to think that my throat was getting aggravated from post nasal drainage caused by allergies. They prescribed me Flonase. I use it whenever I start to have allergy symptoms (especially sinus ones such as runny or stuffy nose). I have not had any reoccurring problems since then. I also had an allergen test done. Although it only tested for a few common allergies it turns out that I am allergic to juniper which is common in this region. I intend to get further testing done to attempt to identify any other factors that may cause this reaction from me.

I hope you feel better and it is not anything serious!
natay604 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I have been having this sharp, burning pain that radiates from my right tonsil to my right ear (feels deep in my ear) It is not swollen, but does look a bit red in my throat. I have had strep before and this feels nothing like it. It burns like heck when I eat or drink anything besides water. Any suggestions? The pain in my ear is bothering me the most. Could this be an ear infection? Thanks!
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to natay604's response:
Because of nerve pathways, pain in the throat and tonsillar area can be referred or transmitted to the ear, giving the impression of an ear infection. While an ear infection cannot be eliminated as a source until it is carefully examined, the source may still be in the throat or tonsillar region.

You will need to see a medical provider so that your throat, ears, and neck (lymph nodes) can be properly examined. This is really the ony way to be diagnosed, and of course, treated appropriately based on the presumed cause.

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