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What Causes Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them

Published : 2014-04-08 - Updated : 2021-01-26
Author : Disabled World - Contact: Disabled World (www.disabled-world.com)

Synopsis* : Information on the causes of the annoying hiccups including several remedies and tips on how to get rid of them. The medical term for hiccups is Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter (SDF), or singultus, which is Latin for the act of catching one's breath while sobbing. The average hiccups last from a few minutes to a couple of hours, however some people have been known to suffer from hiccuping episodes that last days, months or even years.

Main Digest

One of the most annoying medical phenomena, hiccups affects all of us, but what are hiccups? And the accompanying "hic" sound? A hiccup is defined as an unintentional movement, or spasm, of the diaphragm - the muscle at the base of your lungs. The spasm is followed by a quick closing of the vocal cords, which in turn produces the distinctive "Hic" sound.

Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter (SDF)

The medical term for hiccups is Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter (SDF), or singultus, which is Latin for the act of catching one's breath while sobbing. Hiccups are caused by involuntary diaphragm contractions, which make the vocal cords spasm. The contractions can be caused by a number of things like eating too much, drinking too much alcohol or carbonated beverages - even by stress or sudden changes in the temperature, according to the Mayo Clinic Website. Most people hiccup from 4 to 60 times per minute during an attack of the hiccups, everyone has a specific lifelong hiccup pattern. Hiccups are only found in mammals, and are most common in infants.

The average hiccups last from a few minutes to a couple of hours, however some people have been known to suffer from hiccuping episodes that last days, months or even years. According to Guinness World Records, the record for hiccuping continuously is held by Charles Osborne, from Anthon, Iowa, USA. He hiccuped continuously for 68 years, from 1922 to 1990!

Hiccups that last more than 48 hours can be categorized into:

Common Hiccup Causes

Getting Rid of Hiccups

Some of the more popular hiccup cures work by stimulating your nasopharynx, this is the part of your pharynx behind the tonsils that is continuous with the nasal passage. These remedies include biting into a lemon, drinking from the far side of a glass, or pulling on your tongue.

Prescription Medication for Hiccups

A doctor should be consulted if you have the hiccups for 48 hours or more, as a number of prescription medications are available for persistent hiccups, including:

About the Author

Disabled World (Disabled-World.Com) is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news, assistive technology reviews, and disability sporting events, as well as general information for people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. Be sure to check out our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2014-04-08 - Revised: 2021-01-26. Title: What Causes Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/health/respiratory/hiccup.php>What Causes Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them</a>. Retrieved 2021-05-09, from https://www.disabled-world.com/health/respiratory/hiccup.php - Reference: DW#76-10214.