Hiccups occur when the diaphragm, the muscle at the bottom of the lungs, begins to spasm. The spasm causes the vocal cords to close quickly, which results in the loud, distinctive sound associated with hiccups.
Triggers for Hiccups:
- Hot or spicy foods
- Strong fumes
- If you eat too fast, you can swallow air along with your food and end up with a case of the hiccups
- Pleurisy, pneumonia or damage to the area of the brain that controls the “hiccup center” may lead to more frequent outbreaks
How to Control Hiccups
- At Home Remedies
- Holding your breath,
- Drinking a glass of cold water or
- Eating a teaspoon of sugar
- May also try holding a paper bag to your mouth and breathing in and out for a few minutes
- Medical Treatment (For More Severe Hiccups not getting better with home remedies)
Contact Doctor to get evaluated. He may prescribe medications to control them. Chlorpromazine (Thorazine) is usually the first prescription medication tried for hiccups, although drugs such as baclofen (Lioresal) and medications for convulsions such as phenytoin (Dilantin) have also been successful.
- Surgery to disable the phrenic nerve (the nerve that controls the diaphragm) is often the treatment of last resort.
While it is rare for hiccups to last more than a few minutes, if yours continue for more than a few days, the NLM says you should see a doctor.
1. eMedicine – Consumer Health – Hiccups
2. NCEMI – Singultus (Hiccups)