For Dallas-Fort Worth allergy sufferers, this fall will be agonizing

People with respiratory allergies don't need a calendar to tell them fall is on its way.

Lots of rain in the spring is making for a particularly awful autumn for anyone who is allergic to ragweed, grass or trees, according to the National Allergy Bureau.

The recent rain probably helped pull down the pollen count some, but not for long. There's an abundance of the stuff in the air, said Dr. John Fling, a Fort Worth allergist.

In recent weeks, the fungus count has shot up, making Fort Worth the third-worst city in the country for respiratory allergies. Dallas is second, according to Four of the top five cities are in Texas.

On Wednesday, the fungus count swelled to 4,837 grains per cubic meter, causing running noses and itchy eyes for many of the estimated 1 million allergy sufferers in North Texas. Anything over 2,500 is considered very high.

Whether in fall or spring, Fort Worth typically makes the list of the worst cities for allergies. In fall 2009, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked 13th on the list of the "Most Challenging Places to Live with Fall Allergies." In 2008, it came in 27th. This year's rankings aren't out yet, but anyone with allergies already knows it's been a bad year.

"If we have a few nice hot windy days it is going to make things worse," Fling said.

And don't expect it to get better anytime soon. The worst period is now through late October, he said.

Jan Jarvis, 817-390-7664