Hiccups mostly occur suddenly and go away quickly. But sometimes, it becomes an annoying and serious problem. In terms of physiology, a hiccup occurs when the diaphragm suddenly contracts involuntarily, and, at the same time, the voice box contracts and the vocal folds close, effectively blocking the flow of air.
According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the record for hiccupping continuously is held by Charles Osborne (1892-1991), from Anthon, IA. He hiccupped continuously for 68 years, from 1922 to 1990. Imagine his pain! Bright Side does not want you to go through the same. Thus, we brought you some effective ways to get rid of hiccups.
Plug your ears
Stick your fingers in your ears for 20-30 seconds or press the soft areas behind your earlobes below the base of the skull. This will send a “relax” signal through the vagus nerve, which connects to the diaphragm.
Take a sip
Swallowing water using a straw relaxes the nerves. Gargling with water may also have the same effect. This method usually helps stop the hiccups after a few gulps, but it’s sometimes necessary to try it a few times.
Combine plugging your ears and sipping water
Block your ear while drinking water through a straw. When you stick your fingers in your ear to block them, you are actually pressing on the vagus nerve while getting the benefits of steady swallowing too.
Breathe into a paper bag
This method increases the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood and makes the diaphragm contact more deeply in order to bring in more oxygen. Stop if you start feeling lightheaded.
Honey and lemon
Chewing lemon or eating honey with warm water stimulates the vagus nerve and gives it a break from the hiccups. The vagus nerve runs from your brain to your stomach. Researchers believe that irritation to this nerve can cause hiccups so you can try this simple action to “reset” the nerve so that the hiccups disappear.
Acupuncture, or acupressure, may effectively treat persistent hiccups. It is used to stimulate or irritate the nerves that are responsible for hiccups. Some people have solved their long-term hiccups using this method.
A spoonful of sweetness
This remedy will make you want to cause hiccups. A spoonful of sugar or peanut butter will help stop hiccups. The movement of biting and the motion of the tongue to swallow changes the breathing movement of your stomach so that it unwinds and disregards the hiccups.
Stick out your tongue
This may sound like a bizarre, but helpful, solution for hiccups. Sticking out your tongue engages the glottis, the opening between the vocal chords that unwinds and shortens the spasm, which causes hiccups.
The pencil method
Use this approach by placing a pencil horizontally in your mouth and try to take a few sips of water from a glass. Don’t let the pencil fall out of your mouth. This may be difficult but it’s a good way to stop hiccups.
Inhale quickly, exhale slowly
To use this technique, you will have to inhale as much air as you can as quickly as possible. Now slowly exhale for 30 seconds. Repeat this process till your hiccups stop.
Hiccups are a mysterious condition, yet we have all experienced them numerous times. These cures will help you, but extremely prolonged hiccups could have an underlying cause and may require the assistance of a doctor.