Hiccups is an often brief and uncontrollable involuntary contraction of the diaphragm muscle, that causing the vocal cords to snap shut, giving rise to the familiar hiccup sound. Hiccups are sudden and can be annoying, embarrassing and often times people do not know what to do to stop it. A lot of times, it does not last for long, and it is rarely affiliated with any serious ailment.
However in cases when the hiccups is usually frequent, causes vomiting, persists for more than 48hours, shortness of breath or if interferes with your sleeping or eating, it is advisable to see a doctor. There are some medications that the doctor may prescribe such as Thorazine, Reglan in the case of persistent, severe hiccups.
Hiccups are caused by several factors. One major one is bad lifestyle and eating habits such as eating or drinking too much or too quickly, smoking, excessive chewing of gums, swallowing air. Other causes include, diseases such as stroke, brain tumors and other diseases that irritate the nerves controlling the diaphragm. Some medications are also capable of trigerring hiccups. Anxiety and stress can also result in hiccups. In babies, hiccups are often associated with coughing or crying.
Hiccups can be prevented by building and maintaining good eating habits, such as avoiding eating or drinking to quickly or too fast.
As I stated before, Hiccups rarely last for long. They are resolved within a short space of time. There are several home tricks and remedies to help resolve hiccups. Some common ones include: Using smelling salts, having someone frighten or surprise you, Biting on a lemon, quickly drinking a glass of cold water, holding your breath for a stretch of time with short breaks in between, gargling with water. In babies, breastfeeding, changing the child’s position, or giving the child a gentle back rub may help stop hiccups, and if they are older, giving them a little meal or a drink can help put an end to their hiccups.