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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  September 10, 2004
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R.I. Hospital Asthma & Allergy Center

Even though you can't see them, that doesn't mean they can't hurt you. Dust mites are in millions of homes and they could be causing you allergy and even respiratory problems. They're creepy and crawly and thousands of them can fit on the head of a pin. These spider-like creatures are known as dust mites and they're everywhere you are - even in your own bed.

Dust mites live off human skin flakes, which we are constantly shedding.  Beds are their most popular stomping grounds and where we're most susceptible. Rhode Island Hospital allergy specialist Dr. Robert Klein says the more dust mites there are in your home, the worse off you and your family could be, "If you have a high level of dust mites, there's a greater incidence of children developing asthma."

Lori Silvestri says she had never even heard of dust mites, until she learned more about her husband's asthma problem,  "It's disgusting. It was shocking to me. I never thought about it."

That's when she heard about Hygienitech, a special mattress cleaning system that claims to rid your mattress of those pesky dust mites using a special germ killing UV light.  The first time Hygienitech dealer Ken Horbert cleaned Lori's mattress, she was appalled at what it had picked up.  A special allergen test determined her mattress had high dust mite levels.  Lori says her twice-a-year investment has done wonders for her husband's asthma.  "I didn't tell him at first, because I wanted to see if there was a difference.  After about a week I said to him, 'you seem to be sleeping better,' and he says, 'I am.'"

Dr. Klein says there are less obtrusive and less expensive ways to keep your bedroom dust-mite proof. Special allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers can help.  He also advises people to clean their bedding thoroughly in hot water once a week. Use de-humidifiers and air conditioners to keep humidity down... Dust mites breed better in a humid environment.  Vaccuum carpets often.  Try and limit the amount of stuffed animals in your children's bedroom... These are another perfect breeding ground for dust mites.

The bottom line, whether we like it or not... Dust mites are here to stay. And keeping them at bay for as long as possible can keep everyone happier and healthier.

Not everyone is allergic to dust mites.   If you think you or someone in your family may have a dust mite allergy, talk to your doctor about what the best treatment options are for you.

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