Participate in swimmer's ear clinical trial - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Participate in swimmer's ear clinical trial

Swimmer's ear is a painful ear infection that can leave you hurting for days as antibiotic drops work to clear up the ear canal. But there is a new drug that is part of the Splash Swimmer's Ear Study being tested locally to see if the healing time can be cut in half!

Ear, nose and throat physician, Dr. Eugene Louviere, and clinical research manager Deanne Winey-Ward with the Imperial Calcasieu Medical Group are going through early findings with the swimmer's ear study.

The Clinic in Lake Charles is one of three Louisiana sites participating in the trial, looking to improve ear drops for swimmer's ear.  "This is an international clinical trial that is being conducted here in the United States, as well as countries abroad," said Winey-Ward.

Swimmer's ear is an infection in the ear canal that can develop after swimming, showering, from earplugs and cotton-tipped swabs.  "The first sign is usually itching, which leads to discomfort, which leads to severe discomfort," said Dr. Louviere.

A combination antibiotic and steroid drop is the gold standard in treatment right now, but it is starting to show some resistance, like many antibiotics do over time.  "The study is to prove the effectiveness of the new antibiotic, showing it's superior to the older antibiotics," said Dr. Louviere.

The clinical trial lasts between 11 and 13 days with follow-up appointments every two to three days. Each day, the patient will also hear from one of the clinical researchers. 

The guidelines to participate in the trial are pretty simple.  "We are looking for patients in the area that are ages six months and older who have swimmer's ear," said Winey-Ward.

The medical staff and the patient will not know if the actual test drug or a placebo is being given, but everyone will have access to a rescue drug if symptoms persist.  "We do have a rescue medication that is an approved antibiotic that we would provide to them," said Winey-Ward.

The current recovery time with drops is seven to ten days, but the makers of this test drug hope to cut that to five days.

*If you want to participate in the study, you must be six months of age or older and have symptoms of swimmer's ear, like pain, itching, redness and swelling. Medications and doctor's visits will be covered for free. Call 337-312-8405 to enroll or click here.

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