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D. How To Eliminate A Common Allergen

Narrator: This is Science Today. The first step in preventing asthma attacks is to eliminate allergens. Asthma specialist Dr. Homer Boushey of the University of California, San Francisco says one of the most common allergens is the dust mite.

Boushey: The house dustmite is a tiny creature, it's microscopic - it's food is the skin we shed, so you find a lot of mites in bedding, mattresses and so forth. So when a person gets in bed, the mite allergens are put in the air around the face of the patient, or it could be in the carpets, so when you get up and walk across the room, you stir up this mite.

Narrator: Boushey says some solutions are covering the mattress with an anti-allergic cover to trap the mites, washing bedding in hot water and removing the wall-to-wall carpeting.

Boushey: Many people however, are sensitive to many, many allergens and we can't put them inside a plastic bubble, nor do we want to. It's for them that controlling the domestic allergens that we can control is important, but then judicious use of medications is also important.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.