Screen Readers Skip to Content
Print Page

What Causes Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them

Outline: Information on the causes of the annoying hiccups including several remedies and tips on how to get rid of them.

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.

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!

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.

If you want to try even more methods, here is a list of 250 ways said to to help eliminate hiccups - www.musanim.com/mam/hiccup.htm

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

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:


Similar Documents

Cite: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English. Author: Disabled World. Electronic Publication Date: 2014/04/08. Last Revised Date: 2019/01/10. Reference Title: "What Causes Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them", Source: What Causes Hiccups and How to Get Rid of Them. Abstract: Information on the causes of the annoying hiccups including several remedies and tips on how to get rid of them. Retrieved 2019-11-21, from https://www.disabled-world.com/health/respiratory/hiccup.php - Reference Category Number: DW#76-10214.
Important Disclaimer:
Information provided on disabled-world.com is for general informational purpose only, it is not offered as and does not constitute medical advice. In no way are any of the materials presented meant to be a substitute for professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.