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Best Head and Neck Hospital in United States - UC Irvine Department of Otolaryngology

Best Head and Neck Hospital in United States

The head and neck area is home to an assortment of soft tissue structures, ducts, glands, and other parts that can be affected in many different ways.

Some head and neck issues are nothing more than minor infections or temporary inconveniences that will respond well to rest and other self-care remedies.

However, there are times when head and neck problems, like the ones discussed below, require the attention of specialists available at the best head and neck hospital in the United States.

Head and Neck Cancer

Approximately 90 percent of cancers that develop within the head and neck area are due to prolonged exposure to tobacco and other common risk factors. When detected and treated early, many common head and neck cancers, including abnormal growths in the larynx, oral cavity, pharynx, salivary glands, and sinuses and nasal cavities, can be successfully treated. Diagnosis and treatment often involves:

  • Tissue biopsies
  • Laboratory tests and imaging procedures
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy
  • Targeted therapy

Thyroid and Salivary Gland Disorders

Located in the middle part of the lower neck, the thyroid gland is an important part of the endocrine system. Because this gland produces hormones that affect functions such as muscle control, mood, and digestion, imbalances or abnormalities can seriously affect quality of life. Abnormal growths and infections can also cause issues related to the many salivary glands located throughout the throat, mouth, cheeks, and behind the jaw. A referral to a first-rate head and neck hospital may be made when patients are experiencing any of the following thyroid and salivary gland disorders:

  • Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism
  • Thyroid nodules, Grave's disease, and goiters
  • Sialadenitis
  • Sjögren's syndrome
  • Viral infections

Facial Nerve/Jaw Pain

Facial nerves sometimes become damaged due to injury, stroke, sudden trauma, or serious infections. A visit to the best head and neck hospital in the United States may also be warranted if facial paralysis develops as a result of Bell's Palsy, a common facial nerve disorder. Intense, dull pain felt on one side of the head, in the lower jaw area, or around the ears or cheeks may be related to problems with the temporomandibular joint. TMJ disorders sometimes become serious enough to affect the ability to chew, yawn, or speak. If relaxation techniques and medication aren't effective, surgery may be necessary. Specialists at a head and neck hospital can also diagnose and treat jaw pain related to arthritis, jaw injuries, or nerve damage.

Chronic Sinus-Related Pain

Recurring sinus pain or chronic sinusitis can also take a toll on quality of life, especially if related pain extends to other parts of the face. The doctors and specialists at a top-quality head and neck hospital can perform detailed testing to evaluate sinus cavities, nasal passages, and the throat to rule out or confirm suspected sources of symptoms.

Another benefit of visiting the best head and neck hospital in the United States for your specific needs is the ability to gain useful insights about your condition. For instance, if you have issues with an overactive thyroid, you may receive advice on foods you should be eating and which ones to avoid to help keep symptoms in check. Hospitals focusing on head and neck care also provide access to multiple resources in the same location, which can make life easier if you have problems requiring input from different specialists.