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College dormitory life breeds molds, dust mites, bacteria and virusus. Add liberal doses of perfumes, hair sprays, cigarette smoke and other irritants, and you have a recipe for breathing problems, particularly for those students with asthma and allergies.

The Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics offers these tips for preventing asthma symptoms from interfering in college life:

If there are bunk beds, take the top level to avoid inhaling bedding dust from roommates.

Use a HEPA room air filter, encase bedding with dust mite-proof covers, and wash sheets and blankets weekly to help keep room free of airborne particles.

Never leave your dorm room without a rescue medication in your pocket or book bag.

Avoid social situations where you will be exposed to cigarette or other types of smoke.

Use a peak flow meter to measure changes in lung function daily. You are entering a new environment and your body's responses might be different than they were at home.

For more information, call (800) 878-4403 or visit the AANMA Web site at www.

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