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CC268

Flying in ANG - Asthma

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CC268    0

I realize this is a huge shot in the dark, but I wanted to at least talk with some folks.

I am 23, currently an Engineer (Mechanical Engineering degree) for a large Aerospace/Defense contractor. I love flying and currently have my PPL, working on my Instrument Rating as we speak. I am really considering making flying a career at this point. I have already confirmed I can get a first class medical (for civilian flying of course)

I flew with a fella who flew F-100s in Vietnam and F-105s in ANG. He really recommended I look into ANG. The catch is I have asthma. I do take a preventative inhaler every day. I haven't had an "asthma attack" since I was 3 years old. I realize that probably doesn't mean jack though.

My understanding is that this is pretty much a disqualifier. I understand their is some sort of waiver for asthma (if you no longer have it after the age of 13 - this makes zero sense to me as I don't think anyone is ever really "cured" of asthma).

What are your guys' thoughts? Is it even worth talking to a recruiter?

If not, it isn't the end of the world - I will continue the civilian route (likely CFI - Regionals, etc). I have to admit it is disappointing as I am very healthy other than my asthma, but it is what it is.

Thanks for your time!

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CC268    0
1 hour ago, sforron said:

Yes, it's waiverable provided you don't have a history after age 13. See page 83: http://www.wpafb.af.mil/Portals/60/documents/711/usafsam/USAFSAM-Wavier-Guide-170601.pdf

Don't self-disqualify yourself by assuming you're out of luck. Recruiters might try to tell you something different but keep pushing.

Thanks for the feedback. Issue is I do have a "history" after 13 since I have taken medication for my asthma since then (and still do). I haven't been hospitalized by it of course, but have been prescribed the medication. 

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matmacwc    1,093

Taking the inhaler every day would most potentially be a problem.  DONT STOP, I'm not a doctor, but what happens when you deploy and run out of inhaler?

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rancormac    27

I have a waiver for it. I was 'diagnosed' with it shortly out of the womb, and paranoid mother always made sure I had preventative inhalers. 

I was able to take multiple PFTs (w/ methacholine challenge), pass with flying colors, and provided a solid packet of evidence for the waiver.  Approved indefinitely.

1. Do you know for certain you actually have asthma?  You could be in the same situation I was...  Can you go run a few miles without the inhaler and not keel over aside from being out of shape? Probably a misdiagnosis....    It's common for young children to get misdiagnosed by quack doctors at an early age, when its usually just bronchitis. Growing up, when we would run the 1.0 mile in 6th grade and I was huffing and puffing, I thought it was from the asthma.  Looking back now I laugh... no shit, I was in 6th grade and ran a mile once a year, if that.  Of course I was out of breath.  Also, yes, you can grow out of it.  The waiver guide talks about it, but it also discusses the potential for it resurfacing as an adult.

2. Know the AF Waiver guide.  If you haven't read every reference in that thing regarding asthma, you're wrong.  If you don't know how to interpret PFT results, you're wrong.  You need to become the expert on the cause you're fighting.  It's equivalent to a legal battle.

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CC268    0
17 hours ago, rancormac said:

I have a waiver for it. I was 'diagnosed' with it shortly out of the womb, and paranoid mother always made sure I had preventative inhalers. 

I was able to take multiple PFTs (w/ methacholine challenge), pass with flying colors, and provided a solid packet of evidence for the waiver.  Approved indefinitely.

1. Do you know for certain you actually have asthma?  You could be in the same situation I was...  Can you go run a few miles without the inhaler and not keel over aside from being out of shape? Probably a misdiagnosis....    It's common for young children to get misdiagnosed by quack doctors at an early age, when its usually just bronchitis. Growing up, when we would run the 1.0 mile in 6th grade and I was huffing and puffing, I thought it was from the asthma.  Looking back now I laugh... no shit, I was in 6th grade and ran a mile once a year, if that.  Of course I was out of breath.  Also, yes, you can grow out of it.  The waiver guide talks about it, but it also discusses the potential for it resurfacing as an adult.

2. Know the AF Waiver guide.  If you haven't read every reference in that thing regarding asthma, you're wrong.  If you don't know how to interpret PFT results, you're wrong.  You need to become the expert on the cause you're fighting.  It's equivalent to a legal battle.

Interesting. The doctor I go to is a respected asthma/allergy doctor. My asthma is very much allergy driven. I do a lot of strength training, but very little running at this point as I haven't had a reason to do a lot of cardio. I take a PFT each year (my lung capacity last I checked was at about the 85-90% mark). I can take a look at the AF Waiver guide. 

Thanks for the response.

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