What are Hiccups?
We all must have encountered Hiccups here or there in our regular lives. Some of us may have faced it in the most unfortunate situations and even at the wrong times. They are produced due to sudden and involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle, which is located just below the lungs. It keeps on working continuously when you breathe in and out.
As the Diaphragm contracts repeatedly, there is an opening between the vocal cords. It may make a hiccup sound while checking the flow of the air when you breathe. Furthermore, the irritation of the nerves in that area that goes from the neck to the chest can be a reason to cause hiccups. There is not much emphasis laid on the occurrence of hiccups in the medical sciences. However, people do have questions like “How to get rid of hiccups fast?”. It is rare for them to cause any serious health conditions or problems in eating, sleeping, or breathing.
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Why do Hiccups occur?
There can be several reasons that can relate to the occurrence of hiccups. The common ones are –
- When you eat food without giving any breaks in between and do not swallow it properly, you may end up with hiccups due to the irritation.
- While you smoke or chew gum, you may end up swallowing air along with it which can also result in hiccups.
- When you eat your food and gulp air with it, this can certainly cause hiccups.
- Some of the serious problems like – brain tumors, strokes, and other chronic medical disorders are reported to cause hiccups.
- Any harm or damage to the phrenic nerve may result in hiccups that last for a while.
How to get rid of Hiccups?
There are some relatively active measures that can help you get rid of hiccups fast. Some of the commonly used techniques are –
- Breathing techniques – The most basic solution for getting rid of hiccups fast is to hold on to your breath and let the Diaphragm relax. You can even count up to 5 seconds while holding on to the breath and release it slowly by counting again.
Apart from this, you can also try the paper bag technique. In this, you have to inflate and deflate the bag with air by placing its opening on the mouth and nose. Another comfortable method is to lean and bend forward which compresses your chest and puts pressure on the Diaphragm.
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- Eating/Drinking Technique – There have been some really fast-acting techniques to get rid of hiccups with different styles of drinking water. People who ask us – how to get rid of hiccups fast can try sipping cold water that will help stimulate the vagus nerve. A little trick that you can also apply is by drinking the water from the opposite side of the glass or sucking an ice cube for a few minutes.
Eating something smooth like peanut butter or honey can also help to get rid of hiccups fast. A spoonful of sugar can also be held in your mouth before swallowing it. These hacks will surely help you out without taking any longer for the hiccups to stay.
- Pressure Points – The human body has some particularly sensitive areas that can be used as pressure points. When you apply pressure on such areas, it will help in relaxing the nerves and other issues. One of the most effective methods is repeatedly pulling the tongue in and out. It will help in relaxing the muscles and nerves in your throat.
Your Diaphragm separates your lungs from the abdomen. You can use your hands to apply pressure in that area which will get relief from the irritating hiccups. Some people have also used the thumb technique in order to apply pressure on the palm by squeezing it.
Other treatments – Here is a list of some additional treatments you can try to stop hiccups.
- To start, you can rub the back of your neck, which will aid in phrenic nerve stimulation.
- Secondly, you can also opt for a cotton swab to poke your throat until you cough. Doing so will help stimulate the vagus nerve.
- Other than these, you can also try distracting your mind by focusing on something different, like playing a game or doing a simple calculation.
A hiccup typically disappears quickly. The only exception is if you need to see a medical professional because your hiccups have persisted for more than 48 hours.
Hiccups are uncomfortable and uncontrollable reflexes, but there are many ways to stop them quickly. Many people discover relief by holding their breath, downing a glass of water, inhaling a spoonful of sugar, or moving their tongue gently. Other techniques include vagal activation, such as gargling ice water or drinking vinegar. The hiccup cycle can also be broken by twitching, paying attention to your breathing, or using relaxation techniques. Although these methods are usually effective, persistent or persistent hiccups may require medical attention.