Non-Excercise Induced Asthma/Immuno Therapy

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by KB2019, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. KB2019

    KB2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    SEEKING ADVICE, URGENT: I am a prospective candidate Naval and Air Force Academy candidate for the class of 2023. I am a significant way into my application, have an interview scheduled, and I believe I am a competitive candidate overall. Unfortunately, I had non-excercise induced asthma and have been doing immuno therapy for allergies since I was in 5th grade. I was diagnosed for asthma at 2 and allergies around the same time. I went to the USNA summer seminar and would very much like to attend the academy, but if my conditions are too “severe” I don’t want to waste any more time trying.

    To put things in perspective, I played soccer for 10 years, and then I joined Track/Cross Country and have been running for the last 4 years with no issues. I take a asthma preventative that I sometimes forget, and a allergy pill, which I forget regularly, on a daily basis. I know the DODMERB guide exclusively says sosmrhing about both disqualifying you, but I have severe issue with either. It would be very hard to tell if you didn’t know; many of my close friends don’t even know.

    I am looking for advice reguarding my still going through the application process, on the asthma challenge, and on immuno therapy. Any information is helpful. I would very much like to attend the academy, but I want to use my time wisely and not commit to a college that may kick me out. Thanks!
     
    AFDUDE likes this.
  2. A6E Dad

    A6E Dad BGO

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    282
    Re: asthma, you will have a tough climb to get qualified if, as you say, you have been reliably diagnosed with asthma AND you continue to need and use medication for it. It appears there is an updated version of DOD 6130.03 (dated May 6, 2018) that makes some changes to the asthma section (link below). It used to state that if you've gone 3 years without any symptoms or use of inhaler then you could be qualified, but that language is no longer there. Unfortunately, it doesn't have to be a "severe issue", any history of even symptoms of asthma is enough to DQ. Re; immuno therapy, it might be a dq if within the past 12 months, but you'd need to research that.

    I know it is possible to get a waiver for asthma (my DS got one), but it usually requires proof that the asthma diagnosis was in error, and/or passing the Methacholine Challenge test, and showing that there have been no symptoms and no inhaler use for a long time. If you are still using the medication, that will be difficult.

    That said, if you are already significantly complete with your application, you should continue the process and give it a shot. Waivers are given all the time, and you shouldn't disqualify yourself early. Given what you said, you should expect a DQ for asthma, but if you can produce the right supporting medical records, you could get a waiver. I pays to be proactive, and you might want to investigate obtaining a MCCT on your own to prove you don't have symptoms. Also, when you start the DODMERB process, be VERY CAREFUL about what records you send to them, and make sure you don't send more than is asked for, or that you don't unnecessarily create new problems for yourself. You should become very familiar with the doc linked below, and review all your records against it before sending them in. I'm not saying to withhold info, or be dishonest, just to be careful.

    best of luck!

    https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmotc/nami/arwg/Documents/WaiverGuide/DODI_6130.03_JUL12.pdf

    the relevant text re: asthma is here:

    DoDI 6130.03, March 30, 2018 SECTION 5: DISQUALIFYING CONDITIONS
    e. History of airway hyper responsiveness including asthma, reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, after the 13th birthday. (1) Symptoms suggestive of airway hyper responsiveness include but are not limited to cough, wheeze, chest tightness, dyspnea or functional exercise limitations after the 13th birthday. (2) History of prescription or use of medication (including but not limited to inhaled or oral corticosteroids, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or any beta agonists) for airway hyper responsiveness after the 13th birthday.
     
  3. KB2019

    KB2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2

    Thank you very much for the detailed reply; I will look further into the small details.
     
  4. Overwhelmed

    Overwhelmed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    124
    My DS is having his medical exam next week. He had a history of childhood asthma which possibly may of lingered past the age of 13. We decided to initiate our own methocoline challenge test at an adult pulmonologist prior to his Dodmerb exam. He passed the test with flying colors and barely deviated from his baseline test. His plan is to provide his letter from the pulmonologist that he doesn't have asthma and a copy of the methocoline challenge test at the physical. Do you think this is a good idea?
     
  5. Humey

    Humey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,276
    Likes Received:
    849
    Let the Academy tell you no. Dont do it for them by quitting
     
    Love4monsters likes this.
  6. KB2019

    KB2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes, I will look into this and take the test soon hopefully. What are the passing deviations and the non-passing deviations for the test?
     
  7. KB2019

    KB2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    That is my plan; hopefully I’ll make it through find.
     
  8. Overwhelmed

    Overwhelmed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    124
    Can't deviate by more than 20%. DS only went down 2 or 3 percent. Test took an hour. Pulmonologist said if your results are negative you don't have asthma. I am hopeful this will be acceptable to Dodmerb.
     
  9. Love4monsters

    Love4monsters Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2016
    Messages:
    650
    Likes Received:
    573
    I personally know someone at USNA who failed the methocoline test and was granted a waiver. Class of 2021 and issued an inhaler on I Day. Failed the test again the fall of 2017 but still a Mid. Not sure if it is in the same category as color blind waivers as they are both restricted line. Don't give up until you are denied. Positive thoughts!
     
  10. KB2019

    KB2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Okay, that’s reassuring, I’m taking the test within the next week so we will see. I am going to continue my application though.
     
    Love4monsters likes this.
  11. IrishBrewer

    IrishBrewer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    22
    I would also talk to your allergist about whether you have been on the maintenance dose of allergy shots to try going off of them. I am nearing the 5-year milestone for being on them myself and that is when they will take me off. The results have been phenomenal. It used to be that much of the year, I was miserable being outside due to allergies, let alone exercising outside. Now I can do heavy exercise outside for very long periods of time without issues. I would be proactive in trying to get off meds, passing a methocoline test and also an asthma stress test to show that you are medically qualified. Even with this, it will likely be an uphill battle and will require a waiver but I would guess that without doing this, your chances are very low. It is definitely worth a shot so don't give up.
     
  12. KB2019

    KB2019 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    I saw my allergist yesterday and we will be holding off on the methocoline test until the DoDMERB wants to test me or not. Also, I was able to stop my immuno therapy treatment after 12 years of treatment. That means that now I only have to worry about the asthma, which I believe, based off my research and contact with other asthmatic Academy graduates, I will be able to get a waiver for.
     
  13. IrishBrewer

    IrishBrewer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2017
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    22
    If I were you, I would also contact my doctor to see if it is advisable to go off of the asthma preventative medication altogether. It could be that you don't really need it and I think it will be much harder to get a waiver if they see that you are being what they consider to be in active treatment. What you want to show is that you are not impeded by asthma in any way, even when active. That being said, your own health and well being is of utmost importance so do this only with the support and supervision of your physician. Ultimately, you will probably have to take a stress test for your breathing (the stress part is exercise on a bike or treadmill) and the test will have to show that your key breathing stats are unchanged (or within an allowable margin) before vs after the stress test. Some people choose to have this test done on their own outside of DODMERB but we did not opt to do that with my DD and things worked out fine.
     
  14. PantherPride

    PantherPride Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    14
    My DS had his waiver denied because of Asthma Variant (Allergies) and we had to write a letter of appeal and undergo a Methocholine Challenge Test. My suggestion is to pay for the test out of pocket so you get the results back, otherwise if you go through DoDMERB/Concord, the results go straight to them and you won't know the results. Well worth the money to pay out of pocket. After a successful test result and letter of appeal with a recommendation by Commanding officer, he was granted his scholarship and is actively particpating in NROTC today. Good Luck
     
    tonyyanks2 likes this.
  15. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    138
    I'm not intimately familiar with the medical regulations, but I'd like to give you a few things to think about when you make your decision to continue applying.

    1) Just because you are granted a waiver for a medical condition to attend an academy does not necessarily mean you will be granted the same waiver to commission as an officer after you graduate. While it is certainly true that most who end up getting medically separated or graduate non comissioning (GNC) do so due to conditions that developed while they were a midshipman, there are some that leave because the Navy chose not to waive a condition that it had previously beforehand.

    2) Know that if you entire the academy with a significant medical waiver, your options post graduation will likely be severely limited. For example, those who are color blind will only be able to serve as restricted line officers in the Navy or as a ground contract Marine officer (with limitations on MOS selection further down the line). There was a mid I know that came to the Academy to be a pilot, only to find that option would never be available to him due to his color blindness. You should therefore make sure that you are okay with serving in any given community in the Navy or Air Force because it is very likely that your selection of jobs will be limited to due to your asthma.

    3) With the above two thoughts in mind, there is no harm in applying/asking for a waiver. At worst, they will deny it, in which case you wouldn't be any worse off than if you had chosen not to apply. Best case, you get suprised with a waiver and now you get to take advantage of an opportunity you previously weren't sure was available to you.