Will a cold or sinus infection affect spirometry test results?

By Adrianna MacPherson | Last updated: April 6, 2023

Yes. A cold, sinus infection, or other respiratory illness may affect the results of your spirometry test. To properly test your lung function, a spirometry test measures the volume of air you are able to exhale and the rate at which you exhale.

When you suffer from a cold, flu, or similar illness the tissue of your lungs may become irritated. In addition, you may experience excessive mucus build up in your lungs. Both of these conditions will have an impact on your ability to breathe. The test results will not be accurate if you are unable to maintain a sustained forceful breath during the test. Coughing, sneezing, or other interruptions will invalidate the results . If you have a cold other respiratory illness you should inform your test administrator so that your test can be rescheduled.

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