Advice on how to deal w Asthma


New Member
Feb 28, 2019
Hi there - this is my first post on this forum. I have learned a lot by reading through various threads. I am reaching out to anyone who could help... My son is a sophomore in High School with good SAT scores, good academics overall.

He was diagnosed with mild asthma around age 6 or 7 and has had allergy shots for about the last 5 years. He has been prescribed various medications over the years including albuterol, Zyrtec, pulmocort and others, which he takes as needed - which, except for Zyrtec, hasn't been that often. His asthma has never really been an issue with him participating in sports or anything else - he wrestles on his hs team and also runs track. He has ran a 1/2 marathon before with no issues. His allergies have also gotten better since growing older. He used to have eczema but hasn't had any issues with that for the last couple of years. He is now 15 years old, almost 16.

My question is what, if anything, should we do now to help his chances of getting in to a service academy? I imagine he will get DQ'd for this, but maybe a waiver? Should we stop the allergy shots? He only goes once a month now and we've pretty much decided to stop that anyway. Should we talk to his allergy doctor about getting off all other meds asap? I honestly believe his allergy/asthma issues were and are childhood issues that he has already or will soon grow out of.... Any thoughts would be appreciated. Sorry for the long post.
I am coming from the Rotc world so the academies may be different, but for the asthma and other issues, if they occurred before 12 years of age, they usually arent an issue. For those after 12, they are going to have a problem especially if they have been medicated all this time. I would suspect that getting off the meds would be the first thing you need to do. Having said that, please dont go by me and refer to your physician. You son has three issues, asthma, allergies and eczema which may or may not be an issue depending on when he last had it. From from what other people have written, there is a medical test that can be take and will confirm or deny that someone has asthma. Pass that and you may get a wavier, dont pass and you may be out of luck. Allergies are a different issue as it seems like seaonal allergies like hay fever may not be a big issue while other allergies especially food allergies may be. Also different branches deal with allergies differently. Army seems to be tolerant of true nut allergies while Air Force would probably turn out down. So it depends who you even talk to
Nobody here has any business telling you whether to stop the allergy shots. You need to consult with your son's doctor, let them know you're thinking about future applications to service academies, and take his or her advice.

If your son has been diagnosed with asthma, you'll probably have to disclose it on the DODMERB forms. Army Reg. 40-501 Standards of Medical Fitness states that "asthma reliably diagnosed and symptomatic after the 13th birthday does not meet the standard." (2-23(d)). If the asthma is no longer a problem, you'll want to get that in writing so you can submit it with your other paperwork at the appropriate time. In any case, there could be an automatic DQ, followed by a remediation such as a methacholine challenge test. My son went through this for AROTC, and the DQ was waived. I have no idea how the service academies may differ or what their procedures may be.

Regarding eczema, "Current or history of...eczema after the 9th birthday does not meet the standard." (2-28(b)). This could be similarly waiverable, depending on what your son's situation is in two years.
In consultation with DS's allergist, he stopped taking regular asthma medication two years ago (he is a senior applicant to USMA and has been awarded a ARTOC scholarship, pending medical). We have had a few rounds with DODMERB requesting AMI for various items and "asthma" shows in various parts of various medical records. His allergist recently wrote a letter indicating while he was treated as an asthmatic as a younger child, he was never diagnosed and "is not currently asthmatic." We submitted that letter along with a pulmonary test taken around that time he stopped medication that showed the same. We are still waiting on final DODMERB determination, but know he as at least one condition requiring waiver (history of shoulder dislocation), probably more.