Read below about uneven swelling of the tonsils, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your uneven swelling of the tonsils from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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9 Potential Uneven Swelling of the Tonsils Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab

    Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make the throat feel sore and scratchy. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat. And, if you do not show enough signs of a true strep throat, testing may be needed before treatment is begun.

    1-3 days with treatment

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, sore throat, fever, rash
    Symptoms that always occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    general weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Viral Infection of the Larynx (Voice Box)

    Acute laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx) due to infection.The vocal cords are located inside the larynx. Normally, the vocal cords open and close freely, but in laryngitis, they become inflamed. This swelling causes distortion of the sounds produced by air passing over them, making one's resulting voice sound hoarse.

    Less than 3 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, runny nose, fever, dry cough, hoarse voice
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Influenza

    Influenza, or Flu, is an infection of the airway caused by the flu virus, which passes through the air and enters the body through the nose or mouth. The symptoms are similar to those of a cold, but the flu is usually more serious.

    Most recover within 1 week but cough and malaise can persist for 2 weeks.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, cough, muscle aches
    Symptoms that never occur with influenza:
    headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit
  4. 4.Mononucleosis Infection

    EBV Mononucleosis is a clinical syndrome characterized by fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

    2-3 weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, abdominal pain (stomach ache), cough
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  5. 5.Acute Viral Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus spaces behind the nose and cheeks. These spaces produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If the nose is swollen or if the mucus does not drain, this can block the sinuses and cause pain or infection.

    Symptoms should subside within 7-10 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, cough, sinusitis symptoms, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that always occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

    Acute bacterial sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become infected and, in turn, inflamed, which causes pain and other symptoms. The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the face that are generally clean and empty but when they're sick collect excess mucus and can become infected. When your symptoms are persisting for 10 days or more or are getting worse over time, it's more likely that you'll have a bacterial infection as compared to a viral infection.

    7-15 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, sinusitis symptoms, muscle aches
    Symptoms that always occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    clear runny nose, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the upper airway is obstructed during sleep, which causes poor sleep quality and frequent awakening.

    Sleep apnea is a lifelong condition but symptoms can be well managed with treatment.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, daytime sleepiness, trouble sleeping, sore throat
    Symptoms that always occur with obstructive sleep apnea:
    snoring or apneas
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Canker Sore in the Throat

    Canker sores are small, grayish-white sores in the mouth, often on the inside of the cheeks, lips, and on the tongue, but sometimes, they can happen in the back of the throat. No one really knows why canker sores happen, but it seems to be inherited and susceptible to vitamin deficiencies and allergies.

    1 week

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, pain with swallowing, sore/ulcer in the throat, severe pain when swallowing
    Symptoms that always occur with canker sore in the throat:
    sore throat, pain with swallowing
    Symptoms that never occur with canker sore in the throat:
    fever, cough
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  9. 9.Recurrent Migraine

    Migraines are headaches of moderate to severe intensity, which happen when blood vessels in the brain swell up. They are episodic and thus can recur often. Most migraine sufferers experience increased sensitivity to sounds and/or lights and become nauseous and vomit.

    Migraine symptoms may resolve within a day or two, but the condition can come and go for a year or more. If any particular episode is unusually severe or does not respond to your customary treatments, you may want to see a doctor urgently.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, history of headaches, fatigue, nausea, mild headache
    Symptoms that always occur with recurrent migraine:
    headache, history of headaches
    Symptoms that never occur with recurrent migraine:
    fever, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Uneven Swelling of the Tonsils

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Do you have a cough?
  • Q.Do you have a rash?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our uneven swelling of the tonsils symptom checker to find out more.

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Uneven Swelling of the Tonsils Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced uneven swelling of the tonsils have also experienced:

    • 10% Sore Throat
    • 3% Fatigue
    • 3% Swollen, Red Tonsils
  • People who have experienced uneven swelling of the tonsils were most often matched with:

    • 31% Viral Infection of the Larynx (Voice Box)
    • 21% Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab
    • 6% Influenza
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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