Have you ever been embarrassed when hiccups struck at the worst possible moment? Be it in front of guests at home, or colleagues at work? Then, you’ve got to read this article.
First, we need to know that what exactly is a hiccup?
In simple terms, a hiccup is actually an involuntary action of your muscles present in the throat canal. It happens when the diaphragm muscles contract suddenly and you can not control this. Each contraction is then followed by a sudden closure of your vocal cords, emitting a prominent "hic" sound.
While these hiccups usually last a few minutes, they can be quite annoying and interfere with your performance at the workplace or interfere with your daily life. But why do they occur?
Causes Of Hiccups
Image Courtesy: Keck Medicine of USC
In most cases, hiccups come and go quickly. Lifestyle factors and the most common triggers for hiccups include:
- Eating too much or too quickly.
- Drinking carbonated beverages.
- Swallowing air with chewing gum.
- Consuming spicy foods.
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Being stressed or emotionally excited.
- Being exposed to sudden changes in temperature.
For some people with chronic hiccups, there could be several underlying health conditions that cause including respiratory problems like asthma or pneumonia.
Less often, severe triggers such as a stroke, brain tumour, or hypersensitivity to other medications can also contribute to persistent hiccups. In this situation, you need to book an appointment with a medical professional.
Now, time for the main part!
Tips And Tricks For Getting Rid Of Hiccups
Read on to learn about some of the time-tested tips and tricks that you can try for getting rid of those annoying hiccups. Don’t worry, if the first one doesn’t work, simply move on to the next!
Breathing, Posture Techniques And Pressure Points
As we said that there are many ways by which you can get rid of your hiccups. Sometimes, a simple variation in your breathing or posture can relax your diaphragm. Or applying pressure to some specific points with your hands may help to relax your diaphragm or stimulate your phrenic nerves.
1. Hold Your Breath
Image Courtesy: parents.com
This is one of the easiest tricks to stop hiccups. Holding your breath for a few seconds effectively retains some carbon dioxide in your body. This helps in eliminating the spasms in the diaphragm, thereby preventing hiccups.
For this remedy, you need to inhale a large gulp of air and hold it for about 10-20 seconds, then breathe out slowly. You can repeat this process as per your requirement.
2. Hug Your Knees
Next is a very simple posture technique you can try. For this, you need to sit down in a comfortable place. Then, bring your knees to your chest and hold them there for two minutes. Pulling your knees in compresses the chest leading to stopping diaphragm spasms.
3. Breathe Into A Paper Bag
The next time you're struck with a bad case of hiccups, use this trick. Breathe slowly and deeply into a small paper bag and never use a plastic bag for this purpose.
Then slowly breathe in and out, deflating and inflating the bag. This could increase the carbon dioxide level in the blood and make the diaphragm contract more deeply to bring in more oxygen.
4. Stick Out Your Tongue
This may sound funny to you but this trick actually works! Your tongue is a pressure point and pulling on your tongue stimulates the muscles in your throat.
Things To Eat Or Drink
Not only your postures but also eating certain food items can help to stimulate your phrenic nerves followed by stopping your hiccups.
5. Drink Some Ice Water
For this remedy, you need to take 9-10 quick sips in a row from a glass of icy-cold water. When you’re gulping down the water, rhythmic contractions of the esophagus may override spasms of the diaphragm.
6. Place Sugar On Your Tongue
This is going to be your most favourite trick, we can guarantee you! To make this home remedy work, you have to take about half a teaspoon of sugar and keep it at the far end of the back of the tongue.
Let it sit there for 10-20 seconds and then swallow. This method can change your breathing pattern which can stop the spasms.
7. Bite Or Suck On A Lemon
Biting or sucking on a lemon wedge is another famous hiccup remedy. First, the pleasant aroma combined with the tangy flavour of lemons naturally invigorates the nasopharynx muscles followed by relaxing the knots in the diaphragm muscles and decreasing hiccups.
Don’t forget to rinse out your mouth with water to protect your teeth from citric acid.
Have you tried these tricks? Which of these works the best? Do share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. For more such stories, stay tuned to HerZindagi!
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