Control your asthma, is the message this year on World Asthma Day, which falls on Tuesday.

This was last year’s theme as well, but is being retained this year, doctors say, as there is still not enough awareness about the condition, especially among women, who are often reluctant to seek treatment.

Though pollution and allergies are still the prime culprits, R. Sridhar, a chest physician at Government Stanley Hospital, said the large number of industries in north Chennai also contributed to the problem. Construction activity in various parts of the city had also increased pollution, he said.

Recently, doctors at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital screened 258 persons in Thirumullaivoyal and found that at least 10 per cent complained of wheezing. Many of them could have asthma, a doctor said.

According to R. Sridharan of Asthma and Allergy Resource Centre, the prevalence of asthma has gone up by six or seven per cent in the general population.

Dr. Sridharan said that while a lot was being done to create awareness about the condition, some aspects still remained neglected.

“Of late, more women are accepting the fact that they have asthma. However, this does not mean they are coming forward to seek treatment,” he said.

Hormonal changes in women during menstruation also have an effect on asthma, Dr. Sridharan explained. “Every month, as bleeding starts the asthma gets better. By carefully prescribing hormonal pills, we can blunt the body’s response to asthma,” he said. Much more awareness was needed to help treat the condition, especially among women, he added.

World Asthma Day today to focus on controlling disorder