A New York father of two was shocked because he thought a simple toothache turned out to be a rare and deadly infection.
Michael Louisor, 48, from Brooklyn, began feeling pain in his ear around Father's Day weekend last month.
However, he just decided to challenge it. The pain then moved from his ear to his gums, but he only took painkillers.
The next day he woke up from a nap with a swollen neck, struggling for breath and unable to speak.
Louisor rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with Ludwig's angina, an oral infection blocking the airways and giving the patient the feeling that they are being stifled or strangled.
Michael Louisor, 48, from Brooklyn, New York, started suffering from ear and tooth pain on Father's Day last month. Within two days his neck began to swell and he had difficulty talking and breathing. Pictured, left and right: Louisor in the hospital
He went to the hospital, where Ludwig & # 39; s angina was diagnosed, an oral infection that blocks the airways and can quickly become fatal. Pictured: Louisor with his sons
Louisor told DailyMail.com that he didn't think about the earache when he first started to feel the pain.
& # 39; I thought I'd just go through it & # 39 ;, he said. & # 39; The next day it changed into a toothache. It was painful but I just took painkillers. & # 39;
However, his condition was getting worse.
& # 39; My chin was swollen and my speech had changed, & # 39; said Louisor.
& # 39; I could not hold any liquids and also got a fever. My wife said: "You must go to the emergency room". & # 39;
Louisor drove himself to first aid at Mount Sinai Brooklyn in Midwood, where he was immediately seen.
Dr. Sam Huh, the chairman of the otolaryngologist at Mount Sinai Brooklyn, said that Louisor had the classic symptoms of Ludwig's angina.
& # 39; My doctor's assistant had actually seen him, took a photo, and sent it to me because this is a relatively rare disease. Huh to DailyMail.com.
& # 39; So when they told me it looked like Ludwig & # 39; s angina, and I saw the photo, I said oh no that's it. & # 39;
Ludwig's angina is a rare skin infection that usually starts under the tongue.
It usually starts after a mouth injury or a bacterial infection, such as a dental abscess.
Symptoms include swelling of the tongue, neck pain, swallowing problems, drooling, speech problems and fatigue.
The infected area swells quickly and can block the airways.
According to the 2017 report BMJ Case Reports, patients with Ludwig & # 39; s angina have a 50 percent chance of survival without intervention.
Doctors determined that a tooth infection in the lower left tooth of Louisor developed into the infection. Pictured: Louisor, right, with Dr. Sam Huh, who treated him
Louisor was intubated for at least a week and stayed in the hospital for two weeks until the infection stabilized. Pictured: Louisor with his wife and sons
Dr. Huh said that when he first saw Louisor, he had trouble swallowing and his voice was very muffled.
He was brought into the operating room where he was intubated and after he was intubated, Dr. Huh made two small puncture wounds in the neck to release excess fluid.
A CT scan later found that a tooth infection in the left left tooth of Louisor developed into the infection.
Dr. Huh says the infection can become life-threatening very quickly.
& # 39; Even in a perfectly healthy individual, it can be fatal in the way of a day, & # 39; he said. For someone like Louisor: & # 39; Maybe within a few hours. & # 39;
Louisor spent two weeks in the hospital. By the time he was fired he dropped 20 pounds from 300 pounds to 282 pounds.
He has since stopped smoking – because smoking makes you vulnerable to infections and can prolong healing – and has gone on a diet.
He says he wants to encourage others to listen to their bodies if it gives them signs that something is wrong.
& # 39; If you are in pain, you can't ordinary soldier through it, & he said. & # 39; Ddo not ignore what your body tells you. I could have really died of this and it gave me a completely different perspective. & # 39;
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