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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Right side throat pain

09/28/2000

Question:

The back of my throat is constantly irritated on the right side in the area of the tonsil. This has been a problem for 4 years. When it started I saw my family physician and an ENT specialist several times. Many tests were done but nothing was concluded to be the problem. When I swallow, there is a low grade pain, almost a scraping sensation in the right tonsil area. This area seems to become more irritated when I speak loudly for a length of time. It is not difficult to swallow. I don`t even notice the pain when eating or drinking. This is a low grade pain but irritating nevertheless. If there is anything I could try to fix this I`d love to know about it. Thank you for any advice you may have for me. I am a 39 year old male, non-smoker.

Answer:

Your symptoms are quite vague and I suspect that is why no answer has been given to you. This may represent an unusual condition called Eagles Syndrome or it could just be some scar tissue in your throat from old infections. Eagles syndrome sounds unlikely because it is associated with some discomfort in the neck region under the jaw. This problem also could be related to acid reflux. If there is an associated cough, mucus build-up in your throat, occasional hoarseness, frequent throat clearing, you may have acid reflux. This condition is not usually associated with heartburn or indigestion. The treatment is acid suppression medication in addition to lifestyle changes. Your main problem, however, is getting the correct diagnosis. If this is enough of a problem, I think that you should continue to seek a diagnosis. Otherwise you have to ask yourself if you can live with it. Good Luck.

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Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati