Boys grow out of asthma

Just seen this story on the BBC news, and wondered how many youngsters have had their dreams of becoming a pilot/aircrew dashed by having asthma on their medical file, when they may well have been clear of asthma for years.

The 'experts' reckon boys can grow out of asthma at around the age of 13, so by the time they get to 18-21 and are looking to join the RAF/AAC or indeed RN, they would have been clear of asthma for 5-8 years.

Never had asthma myself, but it made me think. I would never have been able to pursue my career in the RAF or civvy street.
I only have experience of the army's take on it, not the RAF or RN. MY son had asthma as a youngster and indeed did grow out of it at the age of12/13. It was declared when he completed his apllication and flagged up as a point to be considered. A lung function test was performed at a private hospital in Surrey at the request/expense of the army and he got through it ok and enlisted.

Historical asthma therfore not a bar to joining up.
five years clear is all it takes
had it when i was younger. i fail to see how it matters, as its a restriction of the passages of the lungs.

last time i checked, all pt is done with the soldiers breathing through there arrse, which has never posed a problem to most ordinary asthma sufferers.
grew out of asthma about 12 now i still feel a bit dry in my throat but its not as bad as it was

still had to do the spiro test at selection tho :frustrated:


Asthma is allegedly linked to air quality and the levels of exercise of the youth. Now when I joined in 1981 there wasnt a single person with Asthma in our intake nor in the school I had left before joining. I'd like to think that we were the last of the walk to school kids but we lost many early on due to being unable to hack the physical side so I expect that the rot had set in long before then.
Asthma and a whole range of allergies can be linked directly with the use of antibiotics by doctors and antibacterial wipes/cleaners by your mum.

The child never gets a chance to develop a robust immune system and is therefore wideopen to attack from any number of little nasties.

Dettol, Domestos and the like have a lot to answer for.


Not a problem in our house, mind you the pigs would complain if they werent all in the freezer!
Beware, it comes back!! I was astmatic to 12 or 13, and then fine until the age of 30 (IE whole service in CCF/TA/OTC and MPS basic training. I then got pneaumonia and it came back for about 2 years, haven't had any for last 8 years though. The consultant told me this was not unusal and was due to the lungs recovering.

Asthma stopped me getting in the RAF even though ive been free of medication for about 6 years. My doc prescribed prednisolone for it when i was a nipper and for reasons unbeknowst there are 19 prescriptions on the medical history. So they said no at the medical assessment. With only two more weeks before training to go this was devasting news.

Would have made a terrible ATC though tbh, i could forget the parachute on a sky dive.
It is true, I grrew out of it around 15-16 but I seem to have a problem, what happens if you are still on drugs "on paper"? are you not "clear"?
anyways much of the current "asthama" is not real asthama just a real lack of fitness, the forms sent round to cadets to allow them to do assault courses says it all... do you suffer from excercise related asthama attacks? i.e. (generally) did you have asthama when you were little but haven't got fit so now get short of breath when you run and blame it on asthama, some of you must think I am crapping through my keyboard on this but I went through this whole thing when I was little, got fit and oh asthama practically vanished!
I had it up to 13yrs. Tried to join RN at 16. Admitted to asthma. Told to come back in 1 yr. Turned down again. I wasn't going to spend the rest of my life in Elgin so went to Army Recruiting Office. Asked if any history of asthma. Answered "No ". A year in Junior Guardsmen's Company, 18wks Basic then off to Malaya/Borneo for 3yrs. Did 23 yrs. No problems except for a persistent hangover. :D
Wise advice donmac - except nowadays, they check your medical records a bit more thoroughly and if you lie on enlistment may be chucked out at a later date.

If you have had asthma, but can show you haven't had an attack for years, then get down to your doctors and get them to remove your inhaler prescription, or whatever drugs they gave you. If it has stayed on your prescription chart, it has stayed on your records and MIGHT be a problem (as far as the medics reading your records are concerned).

Maybe the entry requirements for aircrew are tighter, maybe because they have to breathe through a face mask in flight and potentially undergo high-g manouevres?

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