HELP! Hayfever & Inhalor

#1
I've trawled through all the posts on this subject without finding an answer so I am hoping someone can help me. I went to my AFCO on Thursday and when reading the guidance notes, noticed the restrictions for asthma.

Now I wouldn't class myself as ever having asthma, but in 2005 I went to the docs for my usual hayfever prescription (eye drops, nose spray and tablets). I happened to mention that early in the morning during that years hayfever season, I had a slightly tight chest and a cough. I was immediately prescribed with a Ventolin inhaler, which I never used and haven't had prescribed since.

However, after reading other posts on here I'm worried that this will result in me being binned straight away. Where do I stand with this? Has anyone else had a similar experience? Would a letter from my GP saying it wasn't asthma help my case?

This has got me extremely worried!
 
#2
In my experience i wouldn't even mention the word asthma, I've known people who have been discharged for saying they were asthmatic as a child. As long as you are happy with your own physical condition, and you can still do all the physical tests, i'd keep it quiet.

There are other treatments you can including the steriod jab which a mate of mine had, and hence not needing the inhaler. I'd get a letter from a GP just to cover your arse anyway.
 
#3
Thanks I though I'd have to go and get a letter. I can understand why the Army reject people with asthma and I'm hoping the doc hasn't put hayfever related asthma on my records. She didn't call it that at the time, but you never know!

It wasn't even weezing, just a tight chest which she said could have been caused by catargh. I'll be absolutely gutted if it stops me joining :cry:
 
F

frickers82

Guest
#6
I was about to say, what's worse, having your application slowed down or being caught lying about a previous medical problem?
 
#7
I haven't had the med form or BARB test yet, but on the application form the question asks if I'm confident I meet the fitness requirements. I have answered yes because I'm not asthmatic nor have I ever been. The hayfever related problem isn't asthma but I know this will cause me a problem. I'm hoping a doctors letter will sort it because I'm in excellent health otherwise
 
#8
Yeah I will do, thanks. Still not sure how the Army will view it though. Can't see there being any problem getting a letter from the GP, so hopefully, with everything crossed, that will be acceptable 8O
 
#9
Once I find enough time to sit down and draw one up, I will ask a Mod to add a sticky on Asthma, as it is frequently asked about on here.

Let's just get a few things straight for now, though. The Army does not bin possible recruits for the hell of it, contrary to what some muppets here might think. There are very sound reasons why someone with a history of asthma might be a risk to THEMSELVES and OTHERS.

1. Evidence shows that if you have had asthma in the past, then you are at risk from another attack, even if you haven't had one for a while.

2. In civvy street it is quite easy to avoid triggers. This is not the case in the Army. Triggers could include a training exercise in the middle of the Brecon Beacons on a cold, damp, early winters morning; it could be exposure to tear gas; it could be the dust of Iraq or Afghanistan. When, as a civilian, are you likely to be exposed to these environments? If someone is susceptible (previous history) then we can't risk exposing them to situations that could spark an asthma attack.

3. Asthma can be life-threatening. People still die in the UK from asthma attacks, despite having ambulances, nearby hospitals, regularly available medicines. Imagine the scene if you start having an attack in the middle of nowhere in Iraq, or during a firefight in Afghanistan... And think of the impact, not only on the sufferer but on soldiers around you.

4. What happens if your back-up salbutamol (Ventolin) inhaler gets damaged whilst out in the ulu? How long do you think it would be before you could get a replacement?

5. And please don't start quoting Paula Radcliffe etc. Yes, she has asthma and yes, she is a world-class athlete. She also has access to 24hr emergency care, regular supplies of medicine and hospitals on her doorstep. Not remotely comparable to the life of a soldier on ops.

One request : Never EVER cover up a possible history of asthma, for the reasons above. If you genuinely believe that you are not asthmatic then let the Army doctors double check. They can carry out some pretty sensitive tests that measure the risks - let the experts decide if you are at risk or not.

If you cover up, and then have an attack that brings you or your colleagues into danger, then you'll have to live (if you get through it) with the consequences............

Jez.
 
#10
qzfbxbk8 said:
I've trawled through all the posts on this subject without finding an answer so I am hoping someone can help me. I went to my AFCO on Thursday and when reading the guidance notes, noticed the restrictions for asthma.

Now I wouldn't class myself as ever having asthma, but in 2005 I went to the docs for my usual hayfever prescription (eye drops, nose spray and tablets). I happened to mention that early in the morning during that years hayfever season, I had a slightly tight chest and a cough. I was immediately prescribed with a Ventolin inhaler, which I never used and haven't had prescribed since.

However, after reading other posts on here I'm worried that this will result in me being binned straight away. Where do I stand with this? Has anyone else had a similar experience? Would a letter from my GP saying it wasn't asthma help my case?

This has got me extremely worried!
For asthma you need to be four years clear of an attack, or four years clear from the date you were last prescribed your inhaler. Hayfever shouldn't cause you a problem. Having said that, the recruiters in your local AFCO will have the answer. Or chat to the recruiters on the armyjobs website.
 
#11
Thanks for the advice. Jezebel - I think this is why my situation is slightly unusual. I have never had an "attack" nor even been close to one. I am not asthmatic, I have just been prescribed an inhaler for something related to hayfever, not asthma.

As I have said before, I can fully understand the reasons why the Army have issues with asthmatics. Despite the fact I was prescribed the inhalor, I have never used it so in no way would I rely on it, or be at risk of an attack whilst on operations. The irony is that I have just joined a gym and had a lung function test as part of my induction. I was told that my lungs are operating very well for my age (24) etc etc

This is doing my head in, so I'll be talking to the online advisors tomorrow.
 
#12
I don't understand why people are so.. "OH he didn't just say asthma did he?!"

I have been 4 years clear (almost).. and NEVER EVER had an attack or anything.. I am sure I am fine, infact I definately am.. I never took the bloody thing anyway. Why should I lie about it and risk being binned at a later date?.. I am convinced it was never an issue, apparently the doctors these days in the army have sense, and so I don't see why I should be made to worry about it anyway.. I'm going to do my utmost to emphasise the fact that this SO called asthma did not influence me one bit.. and so can anyone actually set things a little straighter on the whole thing? Someone even told me that you might not need spirometry testing if the doctor is convinced you are okay :oops:

..hmm..
 
#13
RoyalEngineers said:
I don't understand why people are so.. "OH he didn't just say asthma did he?!"

I have been 4 years clear (almost).. and NEVER EVER had an attack or anything.. I am sure I am fine, infact I definately am.. I never took the bloody thing anyway. Why should I lie about it and risk being binned at a later date?.. I am convinced it was never an issue, apparently the doctors these days in the army have sense, and so I don't see why I should be made to worry about it anyway.. I'm going to do my utmost to emphasise the fact that this SO called asthma did not influence me one bit.. and so can anyone actually set things a little straighter on the whole thing? Someone even told me that you might not need spirometry testing if the doctor is convinced you are okay :oops:

..hmm..
It's definately true that doctors are overly cautious on the subject of asthma. I had asthma as a child and since then every time I have changed GPs they all started to flap when reading my medical records and I have had to go through it time and time again, I DO NOT have asthma and I haven't had anything like a symptom since pre 2000.

I am expecting it to raise eyebrows when I send in my RG8 (this week) but I am confident in my lungs ability to perform (go lungs!) so I hopefuly I will just do the tests then they can be sure.

Fingers crossed.

J.
 
#14
Totally agree JayCam. I just happened to mention in 2005 that I was suffering from a tight chest when I first woke up. It was immediately diagnosed (with no tests I might add) as related to my hayfever and I was given a ventolin inhalor.
Needless to say I've had no symptoms since, but docs do seem overly keen to dish out inhalors :roll:
 
#15
True.. fair enough the Army Meds can't be TOO certain.. but still.. I think the fact that in 17 years of my life I didn't have an attack or any issues might hint that I am okay, also considering how many times i've puffed, panted, and everything else.. :oops:

Oh well hey.. the system is the system.. I am almost the 4 years clear.. just have to cross my fingers and do my best to prepare for it.. I do intend to mention the asthma.. being 4 years clear all you have to do is a somewhat straight forward test .. :)
 
#16
qzfbxbk8 said:
Totally agree JayCam. I just happened to mention in 2005 that I was suffering from a tight chest when I first woke up. It was immediately diagnosed (with no tests I might add) as related to my hayfever and I was given a ventolin inhalor.
Needless to say I've had no symptoms since, but docs do seem overly keen to dish out inhalors :roll:
From the guidance list of med conditions baring enlistment;
"Asthma, wheeze or asthma symptoms (and treatment) during the previous 4 years. "

Hayfever is often a trigger for asthma symptons so it may not be stated to you as asthma if it doesn't affect you without the hayfever.

I'd say talk to an AFCO about it and be honest, If they tell you that you have to wait then at least you know and you can plan for it rather than a)getting found out and rejected at a later date, or b)putting others at risk.
 
#17
Thanks Shorts - I had no intention of hiding it, for the reasons that you mentioned. Trying to get an appointment to see my GP to see where I stand and what is on my record and then I'll be off to my AFCO. I think I know what the response will be, but trying to stay positive nonetheless
 
#18
Well guys im new here, so go easy

I'm just back from my GP today, where i asked him about my history with asthma.
I was prescribed an inhaler 3 years ago which i have never once used,

After asking a million questions, carried out the blow test thing (which i blew off the scale), and listening to different parts of my body for a while, he has put on my record that i am free of asthma, and it should not cause me any problems.

I plan to join the army as an officer, and am attending an insight course within the coming months, the course says that participants should be clear of asthma and inhalers for 4 years.

Am i likely to enounter any problems? or will they be happy with what the doc has said?
 
#19
Concur with JayCam,

Any history of asthma sends the GP into overdrive. The reason? Well there are 'targets to be met' in the NHS, thanks to the throbbers in power at present.

Anyone presenting to a GP with medical notes that hint of an asthma difficulty in the past - doesn't matter how long ago - is invited to spend 15mins with a practice nurse who tells you how to use a 'squirter', gets you to puff into a tube and plants it all on your medical record.

You don't have to be ill. You just have to be on their books.

It's a colossal waste of money, imho and can shaft a promising military career from the start.

Of course, I fully understand Jezebel's point about the dangers of asthma to selves and - more importantly - to others. Quite so.

But I reckon there are a lot of people who are classed as asthmatics by the NHS who are nothing of the sort, but who need to be listed as such in order to meet the asthma quota.

As an aside: In every other country in Europe, you can buy an inhaler over the counter, without bothering a doctor. Why is the British NHS uniquely fascinated by asthma, insisting that you see a doctor before being given a Ventolin inhaler.

It's an OUTRAGE - no, sorry, it's a puzzle to me, it really is.
 
#20
Well in the last few years iv been training harder than ever before. I have also exposed myself to various different enviroments and have seen no signs of asthma at all. Will the army look past being clear for 4 years depending on the situation? or is there no way of proving that im asthma free?
 
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