Essential tremor (ET) is a common neurological disease. Around 4% of people aged 40 and older suffer from it (R). Its prevalence is notably higher among the nonagenarian population (R), with some 10% of them suffering from it. Still, many have misconceptions about this health condition. Discussed below are some of the common incorrect ideas people have about ET.
It comes with Parkinson’s disease
This is one of the most popular myths associated with ET. There are significant differences to point out when comparing essential tremor vs Parkinson’s. For one, the shaking of the hands related to Parkinsonism occurs when the hands are at the sides or resting on the lap. Essential tremor typically happens when using the hands. ET can worsen with the exposure to stressors and anxiety-inducing situations but is usually not associated with other health problems. Parkinson’s disease symptoms typically are a stooping posture, shambling gait and slow movement.
It is a benign condition
ET is also referred to as benign tremor. However, some health experts argue that it is not benign. It can be disabling and can result in serious occupational interference.
It does not come with pain but it can be extremely frustrating as it can affect a person’s ability to ear, groom, or care for him or herself. Also, it can impair writing and the use of devices that require precise movements, which may result in an inability to work.
The term benign tremor does not indicate mildness or being insignificant. The adjective refers to the fact that the condition does not usually correspond with other neurological problems.
Is it curable?
There are treatments designed to alleviate the symptoms of essential tremor, but they don’t eliminate the condition completely. Medications can also mitigate the shaking, but they only help some people. Ultrasound treatment and deep brain stimulation can provide significant improvements. However, they are not a cure. ET is a lifelong condition sufferers would have to accept and tackle with a positive mindset.
It is a disease of old people
Essential tremor can occur to anyone regardless of age. It is not exclusive to older people. However, most of the sufferers of this condition are people who are . Age is considered a risk factor for this disease, but it does not mean that you can only develop the tremor after your turn 40.
Alcohol solves the problem
Technically, alcohol can temporarily reduce the shaking. Many can attest to this, that’s why many turn to alcohol for relief. However, the problem with this “treatment” is that regular alcohol consumption is associated with a multitude of health complications and should not be considered a treatment. It can damage the liver and lead to alcoholism, which can be a worse problem that affects not just the alcoholic but also the people around them.
Essential tremor is different from Parkinson’s disease; it is more severe than how many think it is and it is incurable. Additionally, it’s not only older adults who get it, and alcohol is not a good remedy. However, there are treatments are available to mitigate symptoms which can alleviate the stress that the condition puts on the sufferer and their loved ones.