The 7 Best Ways to Stop Hiccups For Good

Arjun Khanna

, Health A2Z
GoMedii

There you are, going about your normal day. You just had lunch, and you’re ready to get back to work. But then, suddenly! ‘Hic’ ‘hic’ ‘hic’

 

Oh no! You’ve got a bad case of the hiccups!

 

Don’t worry. Hiccups can be annoying, and pestering, as well as distracting, but they’re not fatal. They can be especially annoying when it’s a hiccup episode that has to do with overeating, but they’re rarely worrisome. Almost everyone suffers from a case of hiccups from time to time. They’re quite normal and tend to pass on their own unless they’re a sign of an underlying condition.

 

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Yes! Certain gastric, digestive as well as other issues can tend to cause chronic hiccups. So if you’re hiccupping too much, or if they’re not passing, you may need to get serious.

 

But the fact that you’re here, reading this, means that either you or someone you know is dealing with a bad case of hiccups.

 

And if that is the case, you’re at the right place!

 

So join GoMedii, as we explore hiccups, what they are, why they are, and what bad things could they mean? But also, the tried-and-tested best ways to stop them! Read on…

 

Hiccups: What Are They & Why Are They?

 

Hiccups are quite a common condition. And we all face it from time to time.

 

But what exactly are they?

 

Well, hiccups are what involuntarily happens when the diaphragm spasms due to some sort of irritation. The diaphragm is a large muscle under the lungs that helps in breathing in and out. When the diaphragm spasms, it causes a sudden inhalation of air.

 

This action in turn forces the vocal cords to shut for a second, causing that distinctive “hic” sound. As we said earlier, hiccups tend to go away by themselves. However, chronic hiccups or an unnaturally long duration of a hiccup episode could be signs of an underlying cause.

 

Normally, hiccups can be caused by irritation due to factors such as:

 

  • Overeating or eating too fast

 

  • Carbonated sodas and drinks

 

  • Regularly eating spicy

 

 

  • Drinking too much alcohol

 

  • Exposure to sudden changes in temperature

 

Hiccups can be also caused by more serious conditions such as

 

  • Diseases affecting the diaphragm

 

  • Abdominal surgery

 

 

  • Brain tumors

 

  • Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

 

The causes behind hiccups may be vast, but trust us when we say that the list of treatments is bigger!

 

There isn’t a lot of data when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of each hiccup remedy. However, many treatments exist in different cultures, backed by centuries ’ worth of word-of-mouth evidence. So here, we narrowed it down to a few effective ones.

 

Give these hiccup tips a shot!

 

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7 Best Ways to Stop Those Annoying Hiccups

 

There exist numerous numbers of treatments for hiccups. A lot of these are home remedies and old techniques, and a lot of them are science-based, doctor recommended. For this blog, we did the best we could to narrow down the various remedies for hiccups, to the sure-shot most effective ones.

 

Read on, and check out these 7 ways to stop those annoying hiccups, certified effective!

 

1. Hold Your Breath

 

Ways to Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath, Breathe Into a Paper Bag, Pull Your Tongue, Massage the Carotid Artery, Distract Yourself, Drink Water Upside Down, Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

 

They say that the simplest is often the best. It stands true here too! Take a large breath of air, hold it for 10-20 seconds and slowly release. This technique can help in relaxing your diaphragm and in turn, hiccups.

 

2. Breathe Into a Paper Bag

 

Ways to Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath, Breathe Into a Paper Bag, Pull Your Tongue, Massage the Carotid Artery, Distract Yourself, Drink Water Upside Down, Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

Breathing into a paper bag can be an effective remedy for hiccups. Hold the bag around your nose and mouth, and slowly breathe while inflating and deflating the bag.

 

3. Pull Your Tongue

 

Ways to Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath, Breathe Into a Paper Bag, Pull Your Tongue, Massage the Carotid Artery, Distract Yourself, Drink Water Upside Down, Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

So the simple techniques didn’t work for you? Onto something more complex! Pulling your tongue can help stimulate vagus or phrenic nerves. These nerves run through the diaphragm.

 

4. Massage the Carotid Artery

 

Ways to Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath, Breathe Into a Paper Bag, Pull Your Tongue, Massage the Carotid Artery, Distract Yourself, Drink Water Upside Down, Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

The carotid artery runs down the sides of the neck. These are the same arteries that help in measuring pulse in the neck. Lie down, turn your head to the left, and massage the artery on the right side in a circular motion for 5 to 10 seconds.

 

5. Eat Sugar

 

Ways to Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath, Breathe Into a Paper Bag, Pull Your Tongue, Massage the Carotid Artery, Distract Yourself, Drink Water Upside Down, Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

Eating a spoon of sugar is surprisingly effective. The right way to do this is to take a small spoon of sugar and let it sit on your tongue for 5-10 seconds. The sugar works well in stimulating the vagus nerve and helping the body forget all about those nasty hiccups.

 

6. The Valsalva Maneuver

 

Ways to Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath, Breathe Into a Paper Bag, Pull Your Tongue, Massage the Carotid Artery, Distract Yourself, Drink Water Upside Down, Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

The trick behind this technique is to build pressure as if inflating a balloon. Keep your mouth close and pinch your nose, then try to exhale as if inflating a balloon. You may feel a slight pressure in your inner ear and chest. This technique focuses on working on a variety of blood pressure and can help with hiccups if done right. Make sure to consult an expert regarding the best way to attempt this technique before doing it.

 

7. Distract Yourself

 

Ways to Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath, Breathe Into a Paper Bag, Pull Your Tongue, Massage the Carotid Artery, Distract Yourself, Drink Water Upside Down, Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

In our experience, this has so far been the best technique to deal with hiccups. A normal case of hiccups tends to pass within due time, roughly 30 minutes to an hour. Distracting oneself with an engaging activity, such as reading a book, playing a game, etc. can work really well in dealing with hiccups.

 

Best Ways to Stop Hiccups: Honorable Mentions

 

The above techniques work well in dealing with hiccups and are probably the best ways to get rid of hiccups easily. That being said, here are some techniques that don’t have appropriate evidence to support their effectiveness, or may or may not work. But deserve a mention!

 

Drink Water Upside Down

 

This seems like a fun way to drink water, but we’re not sure about its effectiveness against hiccups. Drinking water like that can also put you at risk of choking, and is definitely something kids shouldn’t be trying.

 

A Good Scare

 

Get a friend or a loved one to jump- scare or surprise you. Apparently, a good scare is pretty effective against hiccups. However, too good a scare may harm more than help. On the other hand, pre-planning your own scare might not be the most effective technique!

 

Best Ways to Stop Hiccups for Babies

 

Babies are much more prone to hiccups. According to experts, this is because children’s reflexes aren’t settled at that age. The nervous system is still under development and can possibly confuse impulses.

 

Usually, hiccups pass by themselves at that age, within a few minutes. However, if they don’t, here are a few safe remedies to try on your toddler.

 

  • Water-based infusion of fennel or peppermint tea can help kids deal with hiccups. The herbs are some of the safest ones for toddlers and can help bring relief to those hectic muscle spasms. Just make sure you use a dropper, and manage that temperature!

 

  • Light pressure on the upper abdomen can help relax the irritated diaphragm. Try to time each rub with the hiccups.

 

  • Sipping on cold water can also help relax the irritated diaphragm.

 

Conclusion

 

There are many tried and tested ways of treating hiccups at home. Hiccups aren’t a serious condition, but in the off chance that hiccups last a long time or returns chronically, it is best to consult a doctor.  Toddlers or babies are prone to hiccups; however, a few safe ways exist to remedy persistent hiccups in toddlers as well. At GoMedii, it is our desire to help our patients.

 

And when it comes to dealing with those annoying hiccups, this blog aimed to do just that!

 

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