Asthma Australia Senior Manager Nigel Cooper sat down with GP Dr Tim Senior to completely unpack this myth, ask questions, and talk about how to approach asthma without a wheeze with your GP. Watch the video below.

Summary of interview

1:25 – Wheeze as a symptom of asthma

2:05 – What actually is asthma?

2:58 – Why do you think this wheeze and asthma misconception exists?


4.03 – What’s a wheeze and does it mean someone’s asthma is getting worse?

5:02 – Do you hear an asthma wheeze when you breathe in or breathe out?

5.45 – Some people don’t wheeze all the time, can asthma symptoms change with different triggers?

7:20 – Is it normal to wheeze all the time with asthma?


8:38 – We’ve heard people don’t ever get a wheeze with asthma and we’ve heard this term coined silent asthma, is this correct?

10.41 – for people who don’t wheeze is cough the most common symptom? (looks at all symptoms and triggers, looking for patterns of triggers and symptoms)


12:22 So thinking about parents – so recognising that not everybody wheezes with their asthma what kind of symptoms or signs should a parent look out for that 1. Their child might have asthma (non-wheeze) or 2. They’re having a flare-up or an asthma attack?

13.42 – What about in really young children like a three year old, is there anything physical that you might see?


15:22 – From a diagnostic point of view, is it more difficult to diagnose people with asthma who don’t have a wheeze?

16:50 – Does every GP do spirometry and if they can do spirometry are there any age limits that apply?

18.19 – Do patients come to you with symptom diaries, is this useful? Or for their child?

20.20 – Question from Facebook – parent presenting child to the GP but the flare up has stopped, GP tells parent to go home to monitor symptoms.

23:43 – Can any GP do an Asthma Action Plan for someone with asthma?

24.17 – This has come through our Facebook page – is yawning a symptom of asthma?

26.36 – Is there anything else on World Asthma Day that you think is important to share?

Download the Q&A Transcript