Middle ear infection is the most common cause of bacterial infection, as well as conductive hearing loss, during a child’s critical period for speech development. With increased and inappropriate use of antibiotics leading to bacterial resistance, the emergence of a new non-antibiotic treatment is spectacular news. Researchers at Georgia State University have found that vinpocetine, a drug originally used to prevent stroke, can inhibit the overproduction of mucus in the epithelial cells of the middle ear. This has been proven to combat infection in mice, and human trials will be following soon. Since ear infections cost families $314 per child per year, as well as additional costs from missing work and school, new treatments such as vinpocetine have the potential to save families a significant amount of money.
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