Post-Polio Syndrome Prognosis
Post-polio syndrome is a very slow, progressive condition marked by long periods of stability. The severity of post-polio syndrome will depend on the degree of the weakness and disability that remained after an individual had the original polio attack.
People who had only minimal polio symptoms from the original attack and subsequently develop post-polio syndrome will most likely experience only mild symptoms of post-polio syndrome. People originally hit hard by the polio virus, who were left with severe weakness, may develop a more severe case of post-polio syndrome with a greater loss of muscle function, difficulty in swallowing, and more periods of fatigue.
Proper lifestyle changes, the use of assistive devices, and taking certain anti-inflammatory medications may help reduce some of the symptoms of post-polio syndrome. Post-polio syndrome is rarely fatal.
People with post-polio syndrome and their loved ones face many unknowns. Some people find that it is easier to cope when they know the statistics. Other people find statistical information confusing and frightening, and they think it is too impersonal to be of use to them. The doctor who is most familiar with a patient's situation is in the best position to discuss the post-polio syndrome prognosis and to explain what the statistics of post-polio syndrome may mean for that person. At the same time, it is important to understand that even the doctor cannot tell exactly what to expect.