Studies show that essential tremor is a medical condition that affects nearly 5% of the US population above age 50. The shaking of body parts due to essential tremors may differ from case to case. Sometimes it may be mild and unnoticeable, and in some other people, it may be severe and limit their daily life activities. The tremors may also affect various body parts ranging from hands to legs and even the vocal cord.

Essential tremors may sometimes interfere with the ability to care for oneself or do a job. In some essential tremor cases, people may have difficulty holding a cup, writing, buttoning a shirt, applying makeup, etc. This may cause embarrassment and frustration and may lead to anxiety. Fortunately, medications and other treatment modalities are available to control the tremors and alleviate the associated symptoms to improve the quality of the patients.

Joon Faii Ong London explains the development of essential tremor

The symptoms of essential tremor may sometimes start to appear during the 40s when they find some delicate movements difficult, like threading a needle. However, as Joon Faii Ong London points out, it may not get worsen until someone reaches the age of 50s or 60s. During that period, they may find it difficult to use a fork, hold a cup, write a letter, etc. Essential tremor symptoms may progress only very slowly. Even though these conditions may affect the head movements, voice, etc., people may find the symptoms not progressing beyond a handshake, arm tremor, etc. Tremors used to be absent during sleep hours.

The causes of essential tremors are unknown. Some of the medical studies show that the problem primarily lines in the cerebellum part of the brain, which deals with balance and movements. It may also have some connections with the brainstem, the thalamus part at the base bottom of the brain. It is also found that essential tremor can be a hereditary condition, which is transposed to children from affected parents with a 50% chance.

Tremors vs. Parkinson’s disease

Most often, essential tremor is mistaken for Parkinson’s disease, but these two are different conditions. In Parkinson’s disease, the tremors tend to occur during rest, whereas in essential tremors, it is during movements. Activity intensifies tremors in essential tremors, whereas activity alleviates tremors in Parkinson’s. The rigidity of the arms and legs are so common in Parkinson whereas essential tremor does not show that condition. To adopt the right treatment approach, a thorough diagnosis is required to distinguish between Parkinson’s and essential tremors.

Some quick tips to avoid essential tremor symptoms include:

  • Avoiding caffeine.
  • Use mugs with straws or lids.
  • Using a smartphone to take down notes if finding it difficult to write.
  • Turn head from side to side to avoid head tremor.
  • Try to hold the elbows close to the body to reduce hand tremors.
  • While applying makeup, rest the elbow on the tabletop.
  • Request to serve the food like meat at bit-size pieces.

Joon Faii Ong London suggests that you can live a normal life with essential tremors and control the tremors to a larger extent with proper care and treatment. As there is no complete cure found for essential tremors, you have to try and improve your quality of life with the right lifestyle changes and medicines.