If you’ve experienced them frequently, you’ll probably want to know how do hiccups happen? Here’s the science behind them and how to stop them.
Did you know that 1 in 100,000 people have chronic hiccups?
While chronic hiccuping may not be a concern for you, everybody hiccups randomly. It can be an annoying involuntarily reflex and can decrease your quality of life. It can even cause embarrassing moments in public or in meetings.
But how do hiccups happen in the first place?
We’re here to answer that question and talk about hiccup treatment. Read on to find out more!
What Are Hiccups?
Hiccups happen when your diaphragm contracts. Most often, this happens involuntarily and you can’t stop it because you don’t predict it happening.
After your diaphragm contracts, your vocal cords contract as well, which results in the classic hiccup sound.
Everyone hiccups differently and can be at different volumes. Some people may not even make a sound when they hiccup. Even though hiccuping may look different for everyone, it can still be a nuisance that you want to avoid.
How Do Hiccups Happen?
Hiccups can be caused by a plethora of reasons. The science behind hiccups can be complicated because there are so many different ways they are triggered.
Excitement and extended laughing can cause hiccups, or even intense crying as well. Anything that exhibits a lot of stress on your body can induce hiccups.
Eating a lot of food or carbonated beverages can also have a hiccup effect. Hiccuping is also a common symptom of alcoholism. Even if you aren’t an alcoholic, intaking too much alcohol on any night can cause hiccups to happen.
Swallowing air by accident can also be a common cause of hiccups. You may not even realize you swallowed air, and that is when hiccups can happen most unexpectedly.
Central nervous system disorders can also cause chronic hiccups, such as when you have a stroke or brain injury. It can also occur if you have nerve damage in places like your neck or ears.
Everyone gets hiccups for different reasons, but they can get annoying after a while. It’s helpful to know how to stop them.
How To Prevent Hiccups
There are several natural ways to prevent hiccups. While there are some hiccup remedies that are myths, we’ve collected a list of treatments that are proven to work. If your hiccups persist for several days, however, you should speak to your doctor.
Hold Your Breath
Most people grow up knowing the old holding your breath trick. While not all ancient hiccup remedies tend to work, this one normally does.
Hold your breath for about 20 seconds long (or shorter if you cannot hold it that long). Then, breathe out slowly. This will help relax your diaphragm and should stop the hiccups.
Other breathing exercises can have the same effect. For example, you can breathe in for five seconds, and breathe out for five seconds. This repetitive and meditative breathing will relax you and eventually make the hiccups go away.
Avoid Certain Beverages
As said earlier, carbonated beverages or drinking too much alcohol can cause hiccups. If you struggle with hiccups, it may be best to avoid carbonated beverages. This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every now and then, but avoid drinking them frequently.
The same goes for alcohol. If you struggle with alcohol addiction and have persistent hiccups, you can talk to your doctor about local resources to help fight your addiction.
Sometimes, just distracting yourself from the hiccups can help stop them. If you are constantly thinking about when the next hiccup will occur, that causes stress on your body and may make them worse.
Watch your favorite TV show, or play a game. Try to relax and distract yourself instead of focusing on the hiccups.
Induce Your Gag Reflex
Gagging may help your hiccups to stop too. Put your finger down your throat, but not far enough that it makes you vomit. Your gag reflex will be induced, and then you should practice calm breathing for a few minutes after.
Eventually, you should have control over the hiccups and they should stop.
A fun but natural way to stop your hiccups is to suck on lollipops!
Not just normal lollipops, though–you can actually purchase hiccup-stopping lollipops. At Hiccupops, we offer a variety of flavors for you to choose from at reasonable prices. Hiccupops are made with ingredients that stop your hiccups and relax your breathing.
These are great to have on hand if you experience random hiccups–especially if you have to go to a conference or event. You don’t want to start hiccuping inside an important meeting.
What If I Have Chronic Hiccups?
If you have chronic hiccups, which are hiccups that persist for more than two days, then you should contact your doctor immediately. This is because there may be an underlying medical condition causing your hiccups. If this goes untreated, it can potentially become dangerous.
Your doctor should be able to locate the cause of the hiccups or give you medication to stop them. While the natural ways we have discussed may be your first solution, you may decide you want to try medication instead if they don’t work for you.
Always consult your doctor first if you have any worries about trying natural remedies.
Stop Your Hiccups Today
Hiccups can be an annoying nuisance to handle. But, now you know the answer to the question ‘how do hiccups happen’ and how to prevent them. If hiccups are decreasing your quality of life, then you should take steps toward putting an end to them.
Hiccupops offers many different hiccup-stopping lollipops to get you started. Shop our wide collection today!