What Causes Hiccups?

What Causes Hiccups?

When a hiccup forms, it is because of a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm at the same time as a contraction of the voice box, or larynx, and a total closure of the glottis (The glottis is the middle part of the larynx, where the vocal cords are located). This results in a sudden rush of air into the lungs, and the familiar “hic” sound.

How Do You Get Rid Of Hiccups?

Hiccups generally settle on their own and do not require medical treatment, however, if hiccups last for more than three hours or create a disturbance in eating or sleeping, you may consult your doctor. There are few commonly found simple home remedies that may help you relieve hiccups.

The commonly used home remedies for hiccups are the techniques that stimulate the nasopharynx, or the uppermost region of the throat which helps to relieve the hiccups. You may try any of these easy to do home remedies for hiccups (but not all of them at the same time)[2].

-Hold your breath till 10 seconds or count till 10

-Drink a glass of cold water quickly

-Have sips of iced water

-Have someone frighten you as it is believed to stop the hiccups immediately

-Pulling hard on your tongue

-Bite on a lemon or have few drops of sour vinegar.

-Rubbing or tapping on the back of the neck as it stimulates the skin that covers the spinal nerves

-Distracting your mind from the fact that you are having hiccups

-Breathe into a paper bag to interrupt your normal breathing pattern

-Pinch your nostrils closed, keeping your mouth closed and trying to exhale (Valsalva maneuver)

-Gargle with water

-Drink from the far side of a glass

-Have some granulated sugar or honey

-Pull your knees towards your chest or lean forward, this helps counter the irritating diaphragm

Generally, these home remedies for hiccups can help in getting rid of it. But if these tricks fail or if the symptom persists for more than 3 hours then medical intervention is required.