Is Asthma Waiverable?

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by dbrown21, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. dbrown21

    dbrown21 New Member

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    Hi all.

    I'm applying for an appointment to the class of 2021, and my medical exams are in a week. I've filled out DODMETS and DODMERB forms and the one thing that seems to stand out is my extremely mild asthma (sadly it's still asthma in their books). I understand that in order for USNA to issue a waiver, you need to be granted and appointment and a nomination. Let's assume I am fortunate enough to receive both of those, is there a chance that I could obtain a waiver, or is asthma automatically disqualifying? If it helps, I competitively run cross country and track with no breathing issues. I appreciate your help! Thank you.
     
  2. USNA2023

    USNA2023 USNA 2023 Hopeful

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    I think you can get a waiver for asthma. How hard to get one, I don't know. Good luck and hope you make it in!
     
  3. hthp37

    hthp37 Member

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    Asthma is a tough one. It will depend on lots of factors such as how recently you've used medication, when was last attack, etc...
    I seem to recall on this forum recently there was a candidate who was going through the waiver process for asthma. Either they were incorrectly diagnosed or they had not suffered any symptoms in several years. Anyway, I think they were granted a waiver at the very last minute. You may even be able to find the thread on this forum by searching for "waivers" related threads?
    I also know of a candidate who was not so lucky a few years ago, however. He was sort of a friend of a friend of my mid who ironicsally, was also a runner. He was DQ'd at the completion of the waiver process but I honestly do not know the specifics beyond a history of asthma.
    Not trying to discourage you but to point out all cases are different.
     
  4. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Hi!

    Okay...I'm going to play the heavy. Asthma, to the military, is almost universally a DQ. I said "almost." There are instances that DODMERB will say "okay, waiverable" and so on. This is an uphill battle, you need to know that going in.

    If you do a little research online you will find: DoDI 6130.03, April 28, 2010. This document covers the "Medical Standards for Appointment, Enlistment, or Induction in the military services."

    Reading in there you'll find this comment:

    PG 17. d. Airway hyper responsiveness including asthma (493.xx), reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm (519.11) or asthmatic bronchitis (493.90), reliably diagnosed and symptomatic after the 13th birthday.

    These are disqualifying conditions. There are also listed possible waiver conditions.

    The bottom line is that DODMERB and the academy will have to decide whether to seek a waiver and then whether or not it can be granted. Again, I hate being the heavy, but you need to know going in that this is an uphill battle.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  5. GNBA2020

    GNBA2020 New Member

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    Steve is correct here. Once you list history of asthma on your medical records form, DODMERB will ask for all of your medical records pertaining to wheezing since you were 13. If the wheezing has been relatively light (i.e., no trips to the ER or hospital admissions), they will likely ask for a methacholine challenge test (MCT). You will need to pass that to have ANY chance at a waiver. Ultimately, you will likely not get passed by the DODMERB and the SA will need to issue the waiver. I spoke to some DoD docs about this and they said that it is increasingly becoming a huge problem because of the high prevalence of "reactive airway disease" in young people these days. Why they think that DoD needs to take another look at the current policy, they haven't and asthma (or other wheezing diagnoses) remains a disqualifying condition.
     
  6. 2020PrdPop

    2020PrdPop New Member

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    My DS went through this exact process, DQ, MCT test, USNA waiver. He is currently "enjoying" plebe summer. There is a path through an asthma history to an appointment.
     
  7. 18 Delta

    18 Delta Member

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    Ask about the methacholine challenge test
     
  8. dbrown21

    dbrown21 New Member

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    Two things:
    If I have not had an attack since I was 11, I still must put it on my forms, correct?
    And can someone please explain what a metacholine test is?
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Thing 1: Read the form PRECISELY...don't "second guess" or "what if" or anything else. See what it asks. For example, if it said: "Have you ever been diagnosed with asthma, pulmonary disease, reactive airways disease, or required such treatment after the age of 12..."

    If the answer to that was "no" then you'd say no. If it asked if you have EVER been diagnosed, then the question becomes: is there a diagnosis in your medical history, from a physician, that says you were diagnosed with "XX" or not? If there is, then your answer is "yes." If there isn't..."my parents said I had childhood asthma but I outgrew it..." and no doctor diagnosed it...

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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