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Another Asthma Question - Sorry I know its repetative



Basically trying to keep this as short as possible. I know everywhere I read it says that applications for Asthmatics are only considered after 4 years of no medication. But here is my story and was hoping to get some advice!

I am currently 21 Y/o male, and graduated from university in June last year. I am really interested in joining the RN but I do have asthma, although it is about as mild as they come! To give you an idea, I am currently working as a beach lifeguard, which I know sounds like the dossiest job in the world, but we have to be ridiculously fit to work particularly in the area which I am working, to give you a little idea we had a load of Marine reserves come do our fitness training and tests with us a little while ago and quite a few of them didn't even come close to the times needed in the runs and swims!

I have spoken to my GP already who has done a reverse spirometry test on me which showed no difference before and after use of salbutamol. I am extremely active, and have competed at representative level rugby (England Students) while at uni, I also competed in the 2009 GB Ironman all without any problems with my asthma.

I have never been hospitalized, for it nor been on a nebulizer, and I do not take regular cortico-steroids (brown inhalers). But I have used, and keep a blue lurking around which I admit I take very infrequently!

My old man is currently serving in the Army, and I can think of at least a dozen active serving officers across the RN, RAF and Army who still use an inhaler.

Basically I was wondering what sort of chances I have of being considered? I do fully appreciate that there is good reason for these restrictions with the NBC protocols etc. I have heard of the option of being sent to the Portsmouth Naval Medical Centre for a formal review? If so how often does that happen as I am pretty sure I would be fine in that!

My apologies for such a repetitive question but hopefully readers will appreciate that each situation is different!

Thanks for your help!
I think you will find my friend that unfortunately the RN Medical lot will insist on the 4 years free of Asthma Treatment (inhalers. 4 years free of prescriptions for them i think). Id like to hope that you will get the chance but im not any sort of expert. I simply know how the Army in 05 approached my asthma medication free period..

Angry Doc will probably clarify your question soon enough tho. Best of luck.


Lantern Swinger
Hi, - if you have no signs of Asthma, haven't had an attack in the last few years my suggestion would be (right or wrong) to speak to your Doc and see if you can be diagnosed as having Bronchitis.

Say no on all the forms and speak to the RN Doc direct....


War Hero
Whilst one can completely empathise with asthma sufferes, and the apparent need to be told individually that a person with a recorded history of asthma needs to be four years clear of asthma symptons, treatment or precription, it does get tiresome .

The same question asked a variety of ways will result in the same answer, simply because tragically, people can and do die of this life-threatening condition.

Those currently serving that develop the condition, will wherever possible, continue to be employed, albeit in a down-graded, non life-threatening position.

The rules are there to safeguard the individual and the lives of those that may rely on them. Frustrating though it is, it would be even more unfair if we were to accept asthmatics and be sued by the surviving family if anything untoward happened to the individual or those whose lives depend on them.


War Hero
YW88 said:
... I do have asthma, although it is about as mild as they come!
...I have spoken to my GP already who has done a reverse spirometry test on me which showed no difference before and after use of salbutamol.
...But I have used, and keep a blue lurking around which I admit I take very infrequently!

Do you have asthma, or have you been misdiagnosed. The before and after peak flow test is often used to confirm a diagnosis of asthma. The result of your test does not confirm the diagnosis - have you had any other tests, particularly a chest x-ray?

The British Lung Foundation have, in the recent past, expressed concern at GPs ability to diagnose asthma, yours could be one of the 26% who are not able to correctly interpret the results of spirometry testing.

If I were you, I would get a second opinion from someone who knows what they are talking about. Ask your GP for a referral to a specialist.


Referral to a specialist for a diagnosis of asthma - not going to happen.

It sounds like childhood asthma, but you admit to still occasionally using an inhaler. I accept you are very physically fit, but you still need salbutamol every now and then. That means that you have asthma. Many people in the Army may still use an inhaler, but they are already in the Army. You, on the other hand, are trying to join. Different game.

I would argue that if you don't have a positive reversibility test then you don't have asthma - I'd have taken your inhaler away at this stage. No point doing a test if you're going to ignore the result.

Get a peak flow meter and do a daily reading for a month - see what the figures are like. If you tell me your height I'll get your estimated peak flow and we'll see where you stand.

RN Medical Officer
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