Everyone has experienced hiccups, one of the most annoying and probably harmless things for most people.
Hiccups generally last for a few minutes and appear shortly after we eat in a hurry or swallow a drink too quickly.
According to WebMD, the mechanism for hiccups starts from the diaphragm, which is the muscle between the lungs and the stomach. When we breathe in or inhale, the diaphragm is pulled down allowing air to enter the lungs. When we exhale, the twin diaphragm relaxes so that air from the lungs exits through the nose and mouth.
But when we hiccup, the diaphragm goes into spasm and forces the larynx which contains the vocal cords to contract which in turn closes the vocal cords and creates the characteristic hiccup sound.
In addition to eating and drinking in a hurry, other things such as stress, nervousness, the effects of certain medications, sudden changes in air temperature, and swallowing air due to chewing gum or drinking soft drinks, can also trigger hiccups.
The traditional way to deal with hiccups and is quite effective is holding your breath or blowing air into a paper bag. When we do, CO2 will accumulate in the lungs and make the diaphragm calm again.
Tyler Cymet, principal of the medical school at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, spent five years studying hiccups in 54 of his patients.
But he did not find an easy way to overcome the hiccups.
“I thought nothing was working, the hiccups suddenly appeared and stopped on their own,” he told the Guardian.
Launching IFL Science, Saturday (9/2/2019), if you hiccup in just a few minutes, it means it’s still normal. But if it’s been hours or even up to 48 hours, you should immediately consult a doctor. It’s possible that these include symptoms of a more serious problem such as meningitis, stroke, traumatic brain injury, or a tumor.