Hiccups (also known as synchronous diaphragmatic flutter) are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle, followed by the sudden closure of the vocal cords, resulting in a characteristic “hic” sound.
Although hiccups are usually harmless and tend to go away on their own, they can be annoying and disruptive, especially if they persist for an extended period.
In this article, we will discuss how to stop hiccups and provide some effective remedies.
Breathe and Hold
One of the most effective ways to stop hiccups is to take a deep breath and hold it for as long as possible. This technique helps to relax the diaphragm and reset its rhythm.
To do this, take a deep breath and hold it for as long as you can, or until you feel the need to breathe out. Then, exhale slowly and repeat the process if necessary.
Drinking a glass of water is another effective way to stop hiccups. The water helps to relax the diaphragm and flush out any irritants that may be causing the hiccups.
To do this, drink a glass of water quickly and without taking any breaks. You can also try drinking the water from the opposite side of the glass, as this may stimulate the vagus nerve and stop the hiccups.
Gargle with Ice Water
Gargling with ice water can also help to stop hiccups. The cold water helps to stimulate the vagus nerve and reset the diaphragm’s rhythm.
To do this, fill a glass with ice water and gargle it for a few seconds, then spit it out.
Hold Your Breath and Swallow
Holding your breath and swallowing several times in a row can also help to stop hiccups. This technique helps to stimulate the vagus nerve and relax the diaphragm.
To do this, take a deep breath and hold it for as long as possible, then swallow several times before exhaling.
Breathe into a Paper Bag
Breathing into a paper bag is a well-known technique for stopping hiccups. This technique increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, which can help to relax the diaphragm and stop the hiccups.
To do this, breathe into a paper bag for a few minutes or until the hiccups stop.
Sometimes, hiccups can be caused by stress or anxiety. Distracting yourself with a task or activity can help to relax your mind and stop the hiccups.
You can try reading a book, watching a movie, or engaging in a relaxing hobby like painting or yoga.
There are also several over-the-counter remedies that can help to stop hiccups. These include antacids, which help to neutralize stomach acid and relieve irritation that can cause hiccups.
Simethicone, which is an anti-gas medication, can also be effective in stopping hiccups.
In conclusion, hiccups are usually harmless and tend to go away on their own however, if hiccups persist for an extended period, they can be annoying and disruptive.
Fortunately, there are several effective remedies that can help to stop hiccups. These include breathing and holding, drinking water, gargling with ice water, holding your breath and swallowing, breathing into a paper bag, distracting yourself, and over-the-counter remedies.
If your hiccups persist for more than 48 hours, it’s best to consult with your GP or your healthcare provider.