General Question

KRD's avatar

How do we get hiccups?

Asked by KRD (5049points) 1 month ago

As I’m writing this I have hiccups. How do you get them and how long can they last.

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9 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Usually it’s about air flow. A reflex to restore it. So when eating, or not breathing regularly, or from excitement or something. They usually clear up relatively quickly, but in some very rare cases, some people can get a serious case that continues and wants medical attention.

Holding breath can sometimes do it, or sometimes fixing attention on something else.

gorillapaws's avatar

You have a muscle in your abdomen called the diaphragm. It’s what controls your breathing by expanding and contracting the volume of space in the chest which pulls air into the lungs. When you get hiccups, your diaphragm is basically spazzing out. At least that’s how I learned it. I’m not a MD so this could be inaccurate.

My “foolproof” hiccup cure is to bend over and drink water from the top side of the glass. It sounds crazy (and it could be) but I’ve gotten reliable results from this for many years. Your milage may vary. Good luck to you.

canidmajor's avatar

I am prone to continuous harsh bouts of hiccups, the older I get, the worse it gets. Medicos have posited that there is a genetic component, a slightly faulty or weak diaphragm.

My go to for years now has been Tums, or another chalky type thing. It’s pretty absolute, and less messy (I’m a klutz) than the water thing.

smudges's avatar

Good explanation from what I’ve heard @gorillapaws.

I get rid of them by eating something…usually just a single cracker does it. Works every time. I often get them in the middle of the night; they wake me up and I can’t go back to sleep unless I get rid of them.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t get them very often, and I can never identify a cause, but my remedy usually works. I simply hold my breath for as long as I can, repeatedly, several times in a row. If it’s a really tough case, I drink water while holding my breath. Not upside down, though.

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kritiper's avatar

I do the drinking water thing but I turn the glass as I drink.

Zaku's avatar

I just listened to a good (Vox Unexplainable) podcast on hiccups today. It says people don’t really completely understand hiccups, and it’s different for each person, but I thought it had a lot of good information and I found it interesting and entertaining to listen to.

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