Childhood athsma- prevent joining up?



I have a Godson who is 15 and wants to join the Army. He is very fit and a good rugby player, but had athsma as a child and still gets wheezy, usually around dust. He has not had an 'attack' since he was six, and the wheezing goes away on its own after a while, but he does use an inhaler to speed up the process.

Will this stop him from joining up? He has had conflicting advice, and is not sure what to do.
This is a personal bug bear of mine. My eldest wanted to join up but was given an inhaler 2 years ago but has never used or needed it as doctors seem to chuck them around constantly now. However she was told that she must wait 4 years from time of being given inhaler before she can re- apply and must not have used it or had an asthma attack in that time. I find this unusual as we have blokes serving who are out of breath just getting out of their pits on a morning. Just go with him to careers office and see what they say, I know you can appeal about it (if unsuccesful) and then applicant goes through tests etc at the office or selection centre
4 years - attack free, and free from using an inhalor is correct

The PULHHEEMS pamphlet sets in stone - basic entry requirements (although the MO has the right to refer anyone to the Med Board for review on exceptional grounds)

once in the army, an individual could develop asthma - that im afraid is another story for another day


Bedpan2zero said:
get him in the gym, and work on his chest. that will help him big style
How do you mean? Build up the pectorals, or heart & lungs?
I had asthma as a kid, and the best thing I ever did was learn the trombone, my lung capacity increased, and so did my peak flow and general lung condition.

get him learning a wind instrument, preferably something decent size.

Bill Beaumont - was pigeon chested as a nipper

His dad got im bench pressing weights to help improve his lung capacity, muscle tone and stamina - didnt do him any harm - and look what he went onto achieve - england rugby captain
As has been said get him working on CV and join up when he's been clear for 4 years. The extra life will benefit him as well as those I've worked with who joined straight from school are more likely to be irritating than the older ones who've had a couple of years in the real world first.
It seems doctors and nurses are quite good at handing out inhalers for any kind of chest complaint, and can lead to some frustrating times if you decide on an army career.
I had this problem recently, a couple of years ago I went to the nurse with a tight chest and bad cough, and she prescribed me an inhaler "just in case" it got worse.
Luckily I never got the inhaler from the chemist, the presciption went in the bin and nothing more was thought about it, until I applied for the army and a deferral letter promptly arrived saying my asthma and inhaler use was a bar on entry.
Try again in 2008 it basically said.
You wouldn't believe the hassle I had to go through to get a printout from the chemist of my cashed prescription history, to prove that although a prescription was issued by the nurse for an inhaler, that it was never actually cashed in and subsequently never used.
My GP agreed to write me a letter stating that i did not suffer from asthma and this, coupled with the printout from the chemist, got the decision reversed.
God forbid if I had used the inhaler just to see if it made a difference to my chest. As it turned out it was just a chest infection and was cleared up with a good bout of coughing a few days later, but this oversight could have prevented me joining for another 2 years.
I'm the asthmatic in my family, it stopped me joining up but I do get attacks frequently so I understand. However because of MY history they also gave my sisters inhalers at the the first sign of a sniffle. As you all know, this caused problems when they wanted to join up. Luckily we had a supportive GP who arranged fitness tests at a private clinic to prove they could meet the fitness requirements, he also wrote lots of letters on their behalf to the necessary people. Thankfully it worked and they didnt have wait the 4 years, 8 yrs later they are still in and running marathons for fun FFS! The Doctor still asks about them when I plod down for my inhaler prescriptions.

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