Hiccups: What they are, what causes them and how to get rid of them
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People get the hiccups all the time. However, they seem to appear and disappear without rhyme or reason, leaving many people confused about why they occur, including many medical professionals. Most cases of hiccups are no cause for alarm, and the effects will subside in a matter of minutes.
“Hiccups are muscle spasms in your diaphragm that push air past your vocal cords faster than normal, causing them to tighten in response. The result is often a distinct sound, or a ‘hiccup,’” according to Healthgrades.
While most cases of hiccups are harmless, some medical ailments such as asthma are associated with an increased occurrence of hiccups. Prolonged effects can also lead to insomnia, tiredness and irritability, and cases that last longer than 48 hours should be looked at by a doctor.
Hiccups can be caused by a wide range of things, including:
It seems that everyone has a theory for how to get rid of hiccups; some of these solutions work, some don’t and many are myths or old wives’ tales.
If you find yourself with a case of the hiccups, here are some ways you can get rid of them:
Other methods people have been known to try include gargling water, biting on a lemon, drinking a tiny amount of vinegar and even breathing into a paper bag. One, some or none of these options may or may not work. But, when you find one that does, stick with it.