What Is Essential Tremor?
Essential tremor is one of the disorders of the nervous system that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking as it can affect almost any part of your body. The trembling happens most often in your hand that is especially when you do simple tasks such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.
Essential tremor is not a threatening condition, but it worsens over time and can be severe in some people. Other conditions do not cause essential tremor but it is sometimes confused with Parkinson’s disease. Essential tremor can occur in people of any ages but is most common in people age 40 and even older people.
As it’s among the most common disorder where the exact cause is unknown. The tremor usually affects both sides of the body but it may be more noticeable in the dominant hand in comparison with others. It tends to occur when the person is moving also when standing still. Genetics may be responsible for all over half of the cases of this kind of tremor.
We don’t have any definitive cure for this tremor but if its symptoms are mild you may not even need treatment. If the symptoms affect your daily activities, work, or quality of life you may concern with your health care clinician.
How Is Essential Tremor Treated?
If the tremor is mild, then some lifestyle changes may help you with:
1) Follow an appropriate sleep schedule
For some people. Physical exhaustion can also cause tremors.
2) Try Relaxation treatment
This treatment can work well for tremors that are brought on by stress. If this condition is problematic then your clinician may do some kind of tests to find the cause. Depending on the cause, treatment options may be available for further treatment.
3) Treatment occupational therapy
An occupational therapist helps you to adjust to living with the tremors. Some simple changes can make life easier by using eating utensils with larger handles. Wearing wrist weights to stabilize the hand and also select the clothes that are easy on and off.
4) Avoid aggravating substances
Medications like certain antidepressants inhalers or also food that includes caffeine, energy drinks can worsen the tremor. Ask your doctor if your medication could be the source of your problem that worsens the tremor.
5) Take prescribed medications
Based on the underlying causes, we will recommend a good option where a good result with medication would be a reduction in tremors by about 50%.
i) Propanolol: This is a beta-blocker where these medications are commonly used to treat high blood pressure. Do not use the beta-blocker if you have asthma or any kind of heart problem. Side effects can involve fatigue and lightheadedness.
ii) Primidone: This is an anti-seizure drug that is typically used to treat epileptic seizures. Its side effects include short-term drowsiness, concentration problems as well as nausea.
iii) Botox: This is an injectable drug which is an accepted treatment for the condition such as migraine, bladder dysfunction and also excessive sweating. It can be mainly used to treat hand, head, or voice tremors. When used for hand tremors, you may notice finger weakness and when used for voice tremors, Botox can cause a raspy voice or difficulty in swallowing.
iv) Various other medications can be tried that include clonazepam, gabapentin although these are generally less effective.
6) Utilize surgically treatments
These treatments are used for bothersome or also some kind of disabling tremor that is not adequately managed or medication. A good result with surgery would be the elimination or near elimination.
Deep brain stimulation
This is the most effective and proven therapy the tremor freedom. A thin wire is surgically implanted into a deep region of the brain which is involved in generating tremors. Electrical stimulation that is delivered at the tip of the wire is adjusted by your clinician and also powered by a battery pack placed in your chest. Deep brain stimulation offers the ability to treat tremors on both sides can also be adjusted within time. There are various risks of bleeding, infection, speech with the surgery.
Focused x-rays or ultrasound
During the radiosurgery, the surgeon directs an x-ray or ultrasound at the specific part of the brain that is the source of the tremors. Special imaging technology helps to direct the x-rays to the precise target where these techniques are limited to only treating one arm rather than both of the rams and can not be adjusted after they are done.