If you're living with essential tremor, you may be frustrated over how the tremors affect your daily life. Your hands may shake when you use them for activities, and your balance might even be affected. If the tremors are affecting your quality of life, it's important to find an effective way to manage them. Here are some essential tremor treatment options that might help.
1. Take Occupational Therapy
It's difficult to work or go about a normal life when your hands shake when you try to do anything. An occupational therapist might offer help by showing you how to adapt your movements and use special equipment that can help. For instance, supporting your elbows or holding your elbows close to your body might reduce hand tremors. Also, using adaptive cups and utensils that are wider and heavier might make your life easier. An occupational therapist can assess your condition and lifestyle to recommend changes to your home and routine so you can manage life better with your tremors.
2. Use Medications
You may need to see a neurologist for treatment. The doctor might prescribe medications to reduce your tremors. There are different classes of medications to try, so if one doesn't work, another one might. Botulinum toxin is even used sometimes to treat essential tremor.
3. Improve Your Lifestyle
Improving your lifestyle can sometimes help with essential tremors since tremors can be made worse by stress or lack of sleep. Establish a stress-relief routine, such as meditation to see if that helps, and get plenty of restorative sleep since exhaustion could make your tremors worse. Avoid caffeine and other triggers that seem to aggravate your tremors. Mild exercise like walking, water aerobics, and Tai Chi might also be of benefit.
4. Undergo Medical Treatments
Your doctor will probably start by recommending lifestyle changes, prescribing medications, or sending you to physical and occupational therapy. When those approaches don't work, it may be time for medical procedures. One treatment for essential tremor is deep brain stimulation. This is similar to wearing a pacemaker for your heart except the lead is placed in your brain instead. This sends an electric impulse to the area of your brain that controls tremors and movement so your tremors can be managed.
Another treatment for essential tremor is ultrasound treatment where a device sends sound waves into a specific area of your brain to heat tissue and cause a lesion that stops or reduces your tremors.
Your doctor has options for helping you with essential tremor whether you still work or if you're retired or on disability. Help might come in the form of wrist weights or surgery, but essential tremor solutions are worth researching so you're not constantly frustrated by shaking hands.