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Childhood Asthma

Old 3rd Aug 2018, 20:37
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Childhood Asthma

I've done a bit of reading on the post-2012 approach to asthma with regard to aviation medicals and noticed that certainly for initial examinations the investigation procedure is a bit more in-depth.

Basically, when I was a child I was diagnosed with asthma at the age of three or four, I was prescribed inhalers (plus Ventolin for use before sport). It wasn't particularly serious, however at the age of seven or so, I had a nasty cough which resulted in a hospital appointment for a chest x-ray (which revealed a bit of bruising on the lungs from the cough) and a blood test. I was given a course of steroids for a couple of weeks which sorted it out.

I had the flu about a year later, so again another two week steroid course.

When I was in my late teens, I began to have doubts as to whether I really needed the inhalers, so during an appointment with the nurse at my local GP clinic for an unrelated matter, I mentioned the possibility of reducing the dosage with a view to removing them entirely.

I've not used an inhaler for eight years and the asthma is no longer listed as active on my local GPs records. A couple of years ago I was able to do a 20-odd minute 5k without any inhalers at all.

Now, I'm thinking about getting a CAA medical in the next few months (most likely a Class 2 to start with, though possibly a Class 1 since I've been considering modular) and I've read a few stories about referrals costing hundreds of pounds. I've checked the form https://www.caa.co.uk/WorkArea/Downl...?id=4294973874 and guidance http://www.caa.co.uk/WorkArea/Downlo...?id=4294973873. The form seems to be based around inhaler usage in the past few years, yet the guidance seems to be different.

I'd very much appreciate an idea of what they are likely to require. I read on one AME website that they send people on a six minute run around the block then repeat the FEV tests (there's a recommendation to bring exercise clothes) . However, some people seem to have to do the run on a treadmill supervised by a specialist consultant.

I should add that (touch wood), I've never had an asthma attack or wheeze or any sort of incapacitating episode. I don't have any recent reports since no problems = no reports).
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Old 3rd Aug 2018, 22:04
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Chris check your private messages
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Old 4th Aug 2018, 11:12
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Respiratory guidance material GM UK Civil Aviation Authority

They will look carefully at spirometer and peak flow tests. You can practice for these by gettng the equipment and working on them. Improving your pulmonary fitness before the medical is very important too - a good deal of proper running or hard cycling would do no end of good.
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Old 4th Aug 2018, 13:39
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Thank you both for the replies, looks like a gym membership and peak flow meter might be a worthwhile investment for me.

I don't have any recent reports on the asthma, simply a case of no problems, no need to see any specialists.

I'll speak to an AME about booking an appointment at some time in the not too distant future and expect a few hoops to jump through. Hopefully, it won't be a bar to obtaining a medical.

Last edited by Chris the Robot; 4th Aug 2018 at 15:15.
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Old 5th Aug 2018, 19:46
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If you've got asthma I'll buy everyone on Jet Blast a drink.

(Note: that was a joke and does not constitute a contract).

Whilst the AME's preliminary role is to protect the public from sudden incapacitation , they do actually like to pass pilots fit to fly.

From what you've posted on here, there seems to be no definitive diagnosis of "asthma" in your case. The clinical diagnosis is not always clear cut, and historically the "asthma" word was sometimes banded around a little freely. Nowadays, I prefer to use terms such as "viral wheeze" etc. They will be more interested in your history, (episodes per year, hospital admissions, severity etc).

I suspect that the authorities have to cover their arses, which is fair enough.....it'll probably cost you a few hundred quid, but, I suspect, money well spent in the long term.

Let us know how you get on. Good luck with your career. :-)
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Old 6th Aug 2018, 04:02
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One of my sons was diagnosed with asthma around the age of three. The prescribed meds did not help and his funny squeaky cough got worse over the next couple weeks. I was talking to my doctor sister. She heard the cough over the phone and immediately diagnosed whooping cough. Tetracycline, as best I can recall, killed the bug, but it took another three weeks for the toxin to get out of his system. I also picked up the cough and picked up Tetracycline and got rid of it.

The moral of early childhood diseases is that diagnoses and recall can be wrong.
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Old 8th Aug 2018, 18:13
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I've decided I'd like to increase my fitness a bit before I go for the initial medical, my plan at the moment is to join a gym, get to a point where I can do a 5k time below 20 minutes and then go for the medical. I don't plan on doing any PPL training for a while anyway so I've got plenty of time.

I purchased a peak flow meter and my typical result is average for my age (whilst resting), I might use it at the gym to see if there is any effect on the readings after exercise.
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Old 23rd Aug 2018, 11:03
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Can anyone please guide I was looking for help, and have stumbled here today
Iíve been diagnosed with both asthma and chronic bronchitis at different times in the past. Recently (past 6 months) my normal OTC hasnt been preventing symptoms well. Most of the day every day I have coughing fits and constantly feel like I need to clear my throat. This has always been solved by taking a 24 hour allergy tab (allegra) and using my albuterol inhaler if the preventative allergy med fails me.

This is not bringing any relief. Not serious enough symptoms to worry about an acute asthma attack with high risk but sick of constantly coughing and feeling like my throat needs clearing. Any recommendations on additional/alternative preventative measures or other diagnoses that may have been previously missed that would cause these symptoms are appreciated.

Even if itís a EverydayHealth level information, I would appreciate any thoughts that may steer me in the direction of relief. No other chronic conditions No drug/alcohol use No current tobacco use Former smoker/Last smoked 10 years ago.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 03:02
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I gathered a crowd at Praed St way back when. I was blowing into the huge old iron framed puffy thing with the circular disc of paper and a pen. I got the nib very near the edge. Time and again they bid me blow as hard as I could. Always, it just missed tilting over the edge. It became obvious they were trying to witness the first person to ever blow the nib off the scale. They seemed quite disappointed when I couldn't.

The point is, I had terrible childhood asthma. My poor old mum used to stagger into my room, give me ephedrine, and hold my hand until I was zonked out cold. I recall the strange feeling in the mornings after the event.

Always the attacks were timed to about half an hour or so. Then they'd just go. Darn nuisance. Running for a bus could leave me heaving for air for much of the journey. More correctly, heaving to expel the air.

I was a nerd. Excused most sports and allowed to hang around in the science room. Then everything changed. I just grew out of it.

Rowing for hours in strong tidal backwaters (because I was too dim to check tides), climbing trees, judo, which I practised for many years. I took up smoking cigars and pipe. Ugggggg! Can't believe it now. But nare a wheeze.

I wouldn't recommend smoking, but I would recommend feeling positive about saying goodbye to the spasms. Train the mind to think smoke, or cold air, or any fumes you can't avoid, are good. Lovely exhaust smoke! Let the mind know how harmless it is. Deep breathing during running/walking - and I mean deep, squishing every gram of air out to allow clean air into the deepest reaches. Bugs don't like fresh air. But it's the mind that rules.
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Old 25th Aug 2018, 11:29
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macystu maybe worth reminding your doc about "Asthma/COPD overlap syndrome"

Our understanding of it is still "embryonic" https://www.bmj.com/content/358/bmj.j3772

Also the "clearing of the throat" symptom would initially make me consider the diagnosis of reflux if you were my patient.

Which, of course, you are not, so please back up anything on here with a consult with your doc :-)
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Old 10th Sep 2018, 21:55
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Me too

I have this kind of thing and its really hard please help
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Old 11th Sep 2018, 04:44
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C the R

Use the gym treadmill, max slope (15%?) at a brisk walking pace ~6.5kph+ for 15-20 minutes ( or even longer?)
Stop if any asthma symptoms appear.
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Old 11th Sep 2018, 14:59
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Thanks Parkfell, I currently have a suspected injury so it will be a while since I can start up again. Before the suspected injury I was running 5k every other day and got my time down to just over 20 minutes.

Depending on how it all pans out I may be able to resume heavy exercise using a cross-trainer and exercise bike much sooner than running, though I'm aware that the pulmonary benefits aren't quite in the same league.
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