Essential Tremor

An essential tremor is a nerve disorder that makes your hands, arms, eyelids or another part of your body tremble. It is often confused with Parkinson's disease or dystonia. Doctors aren’t sure why people develop them, but essential tremors are most likely to start when you’re 65 or older. They often get worse as you age. And though they’re not life threatening, they can make eating, drinking, writing and even talking difficult.

Overview

Symptoms

Essential tremor symptoms might include:

  • A shaking or quivering voice
  • Having trouble holding or using small objects
  • Head nodding
  • Tremors that go away when you rest

Diagnosis

Your doctors will talk with you about your symptoms and factors that could make your tremors worse – like stress, thyroid disorders, caffeine and some medicines.

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Treatment Options

After a physical exam, we’ll work with you to find the best treatment to manage your tremors and preserve your quality of life. Essential tremor treatment options may include:

• Medication
• Botulinum toxin injections (Botox®) to make the tremors less severe
• Deep brain stimulation (DBS), in which surgeons implant a hair-thin electrode in your brain that helps control your body movements

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