Tag Archives: hiccups

Inventor Says His New Straw Will Cure Hiccups

A Texas doctor says you don’t have to breathe into a paper bag, suck on a lemon, or use other Mom-endorsed remedies when you’ve got a case of the hiccups.

Instead, you can sip water through an L-shaped, hard plastic straw marketed as the HiccAway, says inventor Ali Seifi, MD.

How does it work? According to instructions on the HiccAway website, you stick the straw into a glass of water and suck in water two or three times, immediately swallowing after each sip.

You must suck hard because there’s a valve in the end of the straw, which has two settings: adult and child.

The L-shaped, hard plastic straw marketed as the HiccAway

The scientific explanation on the website is that all that sipping “lowers the diaphragm while opening first, and then closing the epiglottis (the leaf-shaped flap in the throat that keeps food out of the windpipe). Doing so stimulates at the same time the ‘Phrenic’ and ‘Vagus’ nerves, allowing the brain to ‘reset’ and stop the hiccups.”

Seifi is an associate professor of neurosurgery and director of the neurological intensive care unit at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He said he invented the HiccAway after noticing patients who had hiccups while getting chemotherapy and other treatments.

Seifi and associates did a study in which 249 volunteers used the invention. About two-thirds of them said they got hiccups at least once a month.  According to results published in JAMA Open Network, 92% of the volunteers said the HiccAway worked for them.

Rhys Thomas, MD, an epilepsy neuroscientist at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, told The Guardian that the device probably will work, but noted, “I think this is a solution to a problem that nobody has been asking for.”

He said his own way of curing hiccups was plugging his ears while drinking water through a normal straw.

Seifi is seeking a patent for the HiccAway.


HiccAway website: “Your Questions, Answered!”

JAMA Network Open: “Evaluation of the Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool to Stop Hiccups.”

The Guardian: “Drinking straw device is instant cure for hiccups, say scientists.”

This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

How to get rid of hiccups – 6 tips to help stop symptoms

It is always when you least expect it that hiccups arrive and will not go away. There are endless myths linked to hiccupping, why it happens and how you can make them disappear, but ultimately, it’s just an involuntary spasm of the muscle in your diaphragm. We’ve heard all the silly tips and tricks about how you should get rid of the hiccups, but which ones actually work and how do hiccups occur in the first place? We reveal all you need to know…

What are hiccups and what are the causes of them?

A hiccup is a sudden, involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle.

The sound is created by the vocal cords snapping shut as a reflex to the muscle spasm.

The hilarious sound is caused by a number of factors, but they are usually quite random and do not last very long.

Hiccups typically are not dangerous and can be cured, or will stop by themselves in a short period of time.

You should not worry about hiccups unless it is obviously a medical emergency.

But if they last longer than a few hours and are disrupting your daily life, such as affecting your eating or sleeping habits, you should visit your GP.

How to get rid of hiccups

There are a number of things you can do to get rid of persistent hiccups, most of which do not require any special remedies or include things you already have in the cupboard.

Many people swear by the following methods, but they’re to be taken with a grain of salt as there is no medical evidence proving they work for everyone.

Pull your knees up to your chest and lean forward

This helps to compress the chest and place gentle pressure on your diaphragm, hopefully restricting and then stopping the contractions.

Drink a glass of water (and try it upside down)

This is mainly a distraction technique which gets your mind off the hiccuping.

Ice water is also meant to help, as is drinking the water whilst you are upside down.

Although this is not a medical recommendation, it is likely this works due to it requiring some concentration.

Hold your breath

Everyone knows this one, try holding your breath for as long as reasonably possible, breathing heavily in and out each time, and repeat this process.

Bite on a lemon or taste some vinegar

Biting on something bitter like lemon targets the vagus nerve, which runs from the brain to the stomach.

This sends signals to the brain, telling it to switch its focus from hiccups to the sharp taste instead.

This tip also works if you use vinegar or anything as strong-tasting.

Avoid certain foods and drinks

According to the NHS, spicy food, carbonated drinks, chewing gum and alcoholic beverages are all huge triggers for hiccups, so if your hiccups are bothering you, consider giving this food the boot.

Give up smoking

Smoking could also be a reason behind your hiccuping, so you should consider quitting.