We all experience one of those random moments when we suddenly release a bout of hiccups out of nowhere and for no reason. Hiccups are common and (mostly) harmless, but can be persistent and annoying. Read on to find out everything you need to know about hiccups!
1. What’s a hiccup?
Hiccups refer to the sudden, involuntary and repetitive contractions of your diaphragm muscle, which causes a quick closure of the opening between the vocal cords. This produces the sound of hiccups.
2. What causes hiccups?
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Hiccups can occur when you eat too quickly or consumed too much. In addition, it can be a sign of diseases that are affecting the nerves which control the diaphragm, or signal the possibilities of brain tumors, strokes, and other illnesses. One may experience hiccups due to excitement or emotional stress, or high-temperature changes as well.
3. Should I be concerned about my hiccups?
You should if your hiccups last more than 48 hours. Visit your doctor if you experience persistent hiccups, they could be a sign of something more serious.
4. Who can get hiccups?
People of all ages can get hiccups, including babies who are still in their mothers’ womb. In addition, all mammals experience hiccups too!
5. How do I cure my hiccups?
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I’m sure we’ve all heard of one or two home cures for hiccups. These methods usually revolve around the retention of carbon dioxide in the body. Carbon dioxide helps to relax our diaphragm and put a halt to the spasms causing the hiccups. Here are some of the more common cures for hiccups:
- Hold your breath
- Take 10 sips of water and allow it to flow down your throat slowly
- Scare yourself
- Pull hard on your tongue
- Chew on a lemon
However, not everyone agrees that these remedies work to stop their hiccups. Some people believe in allowing the hiccup to subside by itself.
6. Are there other meanings behind my hiccup?
Similar to the belief that sneezing means someone is missing you, there are also beliefs about hiccups that may or may not be true. One of the belief states that you may experience hiccups when someone is thinking negatively about you. Another one says that the occurrence of a hiccup means that you’ve been cursed with bad luck. While all these are just old wives’ tales and it’s up to you to believe in them or not, they are interesting to know about!
Hiccups usually don’t call for too much of a concern. However, it can cause choking when it occurs in the middle of a meal, therefore it pays to be mindful especially when it comes to young children. If you’re experiencing prolonged hiccups and it’s causing irritation to your lungs, do not hesitate to visit the doctor.
Cover Image: Aftodioikisi.gr