Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2.Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3.Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at

    Includes Expert Content
    Severe tonsil pain one side
    jdavis44 posted:

    I'm experiencing pain on the right side of my throat and it's pretty severe at times. When I look in the mirror I can tell that my right tonsil is very enlarged. It hurts especially when swallowing and eating.

    I saw a Doctor today but didn't get any answers. He did refer me to an ENT for next week, but other wise said it didn't look infected. He said my right tonsil is larger than the other.

    If it's not infected what else could be going on? He didn't do a strep test or offer much insight on pain relief. I don't have any other symptoms.

    Is there anything I can do to relieve pain before my ENT appointment?

    Thank you
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    The most serious cause would be a peritonsillar abscess, but since your doctor said that it did not look infected, this is less likely. Personally, a Strep test and a blood count (CBC) would have been nice information to have pending a visit to the ENT.

    People can have asymmetrical bigger than the other, and nothing is wrong, but since you are having throat PAIN, this is more concerning. You can take ibuprofen for pain, or gargle with some warm saline (salt solution), but not knowing the cause of your pain or tonsillar enlargement is still a big mystery; certainly not one I could solve over the Internet.

    See if you can get an earlier appointment with the ENT. Sweet talk the receptionist....
    jdavis44 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Hi, thanks for the response.

    I woke up yesterday morning with severe pain. I called the doctor's office and was fortunately able to get an appointment that morning with my real doctor. Not the one I saw before posting this.

    When I went in the nurse immediately did a swab of my tonsils. The Doctor looked at my throat and could of course see the severe inflammation. He gave me a cortisone and an antibiotic shot, and put me on a daily antibiotic.

    Haven't heard the results of the tests yet. He didn't think it was an abscess, but I suppose if the antibiotic doesn't work that'll be a possibility.

    Thanks again for your input.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to jdavis44's response:
    An antibiotic is often used for an abscess anyway, so I am please that this was started. The cortisone injection should help a great deal, too. Whether your tests are normal or not, it appears that you received proper treatment today.

    Helpful Tips

    Help me some one please i need help with my son
    My son is 10 months old and when he was a month he had hopping cough and i took him to the doctors 3 times and they didnt pick up on it so ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    0 of 0 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Focus on Flu

    Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.