Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Living With Essential Tremor

Though essential tremor is not life-threatening, it can be very distressing for people who have it -- especially for those whose symptoms are severe. Simple activities like eating, writing, or picking up a cup of coffee can be challenging and frustrating. As the disease progresses and tremor becomes more pronounced, many people feel anxious and embarrassed in social situations, which only makes the situation worse.

It may be very tempting to withdraw from family and friends to avoid uncomfortable situations. But don't. There are many practical "tricks," in addition to the treatments your doctor prescribes, that can help you stay active with tremor. And staying active socially is an important part of maintaining both your emotional and physical well-being. Here are some tips to make your life easier.

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

The Continuum of Rehabilitation for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an impact to the head results in disruption of brain functioning. While post-TBI physical impairments can hinder functional independence, the behavioral, cognitive, emotional, psychosocial, and personality changes associated with TBI frequently lead to even greater problems. Comprehensive evaluation and treatment are the foundation to optimizing outcome after TBI, as the complex functions affected,...

Read the The Continuum of Rehabilitation for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury article > >

Educate Yourself and Others About Essential Tremor

  • Become informed about essential tremor and learn as much as you can about living with the condition.
  • Take an active role in your treatment, and discuss your symptoms and questions with your doctor. The more you know about your condition and its treatment, the easier it will be to adapt and reduce the interference with your daily life.
  • Explain your condition simply and honestly to people you meet. This will avoid confusion on their part and embarrassment on yours.

Tips for Living With Essential Tremor

  • Find ways to reduce stress and relax.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption. While small amounts of alcohol seem to relieve essential tremor in some patients, it may interact with medications used to treat ET and also have negative effects on the body, such as alcohol dependency disorder or liver damage. Most experts do not recommend its use.
  • Consider taking a small dose of medication, such as a beta-blocker, before a social outing; this may help to reduce the tremors.
  • Avoid certain drugs that can aggravate tremor like thyroid or asthma medications before attending a social event. Be sure you check with your doctor first.
  • Avoid foods that contain caffeine like sodas, coffee, tea, and chocolate.
  • Place a napkin between cup and saucer to avoid rattling when lifting to drink.
  • Avoid awkward or uncomfortable positions.
  • Use auto dial on a cell phone.
  • Add a little weight to your hand by wearing a heavy bracelet or watch or holding something in your hand. This may reduce some tremors and restore more control to your hands.
  • Drink beverages from half-filled cups or glasses, and use a straw.
  • Get enough rest and sleep. Fatigue often makes a tremor worse.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on September 20, 2014

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
 
woman in art gallery
Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
 
senior man
Article
boy hits soccer ball with head
Slideshow
 
red and white swirl
Article
marijuana plant
ARTICLE
 
brain illustration stroke
Slideshow
nerve damage
Slideshow
 
Alzheimers Overview
Slideshow
Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix
Quiz