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Posted: September 27, 2013

Ragweed: A conversation with allergist John Fling, MD

Pass the tissues, please! It's ragweed season in North Texas, and someone you know is probably sneezing, coughing and wheezing.

John Fling, MD, an allergist with UNT Health, answers some frequently asked questions:

Q: How long is our misery going to last?

A: Probably through next month. Ragweed is a common plant that pollinates heavily in the fall, from late August until the first freeze. In our area, we generally have ragweed pollen from around Labor Day through the end of October.

Q: Why does ragweed cause so much misery?

A: Ragweed is very common, and each plant can put out over a billion pollen particles. Because of this, it's a major problem for those allergic to this plant. 

Q: How does this ragweed season compare with past ones?

A: I think it's about average. Generally, if there is a rainy spring, you can expect a higher than normal ragweed pollen season.

Q: What's the best treatment?

A: Treatment involves several things:

  • Avoidance, if you can, so limit outdoor activities
  • Antihistamines
  • Topical nasal steroid spray
  • Allergy desensitization is very effective
  • New treatments include a combination nasal spray that includes both an antihistamine and a topical steroid

To make an appointment with a UNT Health provider, call 817-735-DOCS.

If you are with the media and need additional information or would like to arrange an interview,
please contact Jeff Carlton, Director of Media Relations, at 817-735-7630.


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