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Does Paralysis Affect Life Expectancy?

Does Paralysis Affect Life Expectancy?

A person’s life expectancy is determined by the type and degree of paralysis. Persons with more severe impairments have a significantly shorter life expectancy.

One of the most prevalent causes of paralysis is spinal cord injury (SCI). Damage to the spinal cord nerves impairs their capacity to deliver and receive information from the brain, which affects the person’s mobility and movement.

Most spinal cord injuries are partial, meaning some nerve impulses can pass up and down the cord. But a complete spinal cord injury makes it impossible to send signals because all spinal cord nerves have been crushed or destroyed.

However, a spinal cord injury affects a person’s overall well-being and quality of life in ways that go beyond immobility. Urinary incontinence, inability to control bowel, sexual function, and body temperature are some of the most common difficulties faced by people with spinal cord injuries.

Additional spinal cord injury complications include repeated skin breakdowns, infections (pressure injuries and sepsis), respiratory and cardiovascular issues, and muscle mass loss. Some of these complications are potentially fatal.

Furthermore, because paralysis involves significant changes in a person’s life and self-perception, it is frequently associated with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Still, even if a person needs permanent assistance from others, it is possible to live a full, independent, and active life with paralysis.