Let’s start with How to get rid of hiccups? The majority of hiccups will disappear on their own. They can, however, last for a long time in rare circumstances. And if you put one of the old wives’ stories about how to halt hiccups to the test – like having someone terrify you – you’ll probably be disappointed.
What are hiccups?
Hiccups are diaphragm spasms accompanied by a ‘hic’ sound as your vocal cords close. The diaphragm is a muscle that isolates your chest and stomach. It is located beneath your ribcage. This muscle plays a crucial role in the breathing process. When you breathe in, it slides below, and when you breathe out, it moves upward.
When you hiccup, two things happen:
- Between breaths, your diaphragm pulls down, causing you to suck in air.
- The glottis (the hole between the vocal cords) shuts to prevent further air from entering.
These motions produce the hiccup’s ‘hic’ sound. The hiccup process is really short, and you’ll be back to normal in minutes to a couple of hours if you don’t address it.
What causes hiccups
According to Dr. Boozer, experts aren’t quite sure of the causes of hiccups. When the diaphragm and the nerves that link to it (the phrenic and vagus nerves) are inflamed, they can cause hiccups. Eating or drinking quickly, sipping carbonated beverages or alcohol, and being nervous or aroused are examples of these behaviors.
Some medical disorders, such as acid reflux, may cause hiccups, and some drugs may cause them as a side effect. Benzodiazepines, used to treat anxiety, are one of the most well-known hiccup-inducing medications.
How to get rid of hiccups
Dr. Boozer notes that hiccups usually go gone in a few minutes or less. In most cases, the only thing you can do is wait for them to vanish. There are times when the greatest thing you can do is ignore them. It’s not uncommon for them to disappear on their own.
On the other hand, suppose that you have a Zoom presentation in five minutes and would prefer not to hiccup in front of your coworkers between every syllable. When it comes to stopping them in their tracks, what can you do?
- Home treatments exist, but there is no evidence to support their effectiveness.
- Three seconds of holding your breath, then three swallows
- Breathe into a paper bag till dizzy!
- Drink water right away.
- Swallow a spoonful of sugar.
- Grasp your tongue.
- Rinse with water.
According to Dr. McKnight, you might also test the Valsalva maneuver. Pinch your nostrils, hold your air, then exhale and bear down as if you were about to poop. Hold the position for around 10 seconds. You might want to try this if you’re alone at home rather than in public.
Unfortunately, according to specialists, none of these “cures” appears to be the winning solution. But, as Dr. McKnight points out, they may help you get rid of your hiccups, and most are safe to try.
According to Dr. Boozer, while these cures appear to be random, they all tap into a couple of key systems. They either cause diaphragm spasms (such as stopping your breath) or irritate the phrenic or vagus nerves, causing nerve impulse disruption (such as gargling or applying a cold compress to your face).
Contact your doctor if your hiccups last more than two days or are so bad that you can’t eat, breathe, or sleep. They might be giving you medicine or testing to figure out why your hiccups aren’t going away.
If you have a stomach ache, chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, vomiting, and hiccups, see your doctor. If you vomit blood, see your doctor right away.
How to prevent hiccups
If you have a lot of hiccups, pay attention to what causes them in the first place. “If you see that you have hiccups in similar settings—overeating, eating hot foods, being exposed to irritants—you may need to avoid such situations in the future if the hiccups are bothersome to you,” Dr. McKnight advises. Consider slowing down and creating more opportunities for self-care if you discover that stress triggers your hiccups.
When should you go to the doctor if you have hiccups?
According to Dr. McKnight, hiccups can be caused by various dangerous medical issues. It could be a tumor or a problem with the central nervous system.
Check in with your doctor if your hiccups don’t go away after two days (and yes, two days is a long time to be plagued by the hiccups). Medication may be able to help. If you get a lot of hiccups, your doctor may suggest that you get tested. If an underlying cause for your hiccups is discovered (such as acid reflux), your doctor will collaborate with you to treat the problem.
Indeed, hiccups aren’t just a minor inconvenience; they can significantly impact your quality of life, according to a study written in the journal Current Oncology Reports in 2019. Dr. Boozer agrees, stating, “Hiccups can create long-term disruption by interfering with eating and sleeping. We want to be certain that there isn’t anything more serious. It’s critical to seek medical help because they can endure a long time in rare circumstances.”
Hiccups can sometimes be avoided by taking drugs before therapy. Hiccups caused by anesthesia, for example, can be avoided by taking metoclopramide before the procedure. Steroids containing ramosetron may help to avoid hiccups caused by chemotherapy. If your hiccups linger only a few minutes to a few hours, you probably don’t need to see a doctor. If the hiccups continue for more than a few days (usually two), you should consult your doctor. When hiccups occur together with other symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, or numbness, it could signify something more severe. If you have hiccups and these symptoms, consult your doctor right once or go to the local emergency facility.