Every home in America seems to have a different approach to curing hiccups. So let's hear about your family's.
Did they tell you to eat bread crust? Drink water upside down? Hold your breath?
If it sounds like we're still trying to figure out how to cure hiccups, that's because we are.
What we know is that hiccups are caused when a muscle called the diaphragm spasms inside your chest.
That spasm pushes air out of your lungs, and makes your vocal cords snap together, which makes the hic, hic, hic noise.
We do know some of the things that cause the diaphragm to spasm in the first place:
- breathing in too quickly
- eating too quickly
- acid reflux
Our planet's top scientists are still searching for the perfect hiccup cure, but they've already discovered two tried and true ways of dealing with them.
The CO2 Treatment
Raising the amount of carbon dioxide in your bloodstream causes your diaphragm to contract more deeply, and stop spasming.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Hold your breath for as long as possible, or inhale slowly three times without exhaling.
- Breathe in and out of a paper bag slowly. The carbon dioxide you exhale will be absorbed back into your bloodstream.
- Eat a spoonful of peanut butter. All of the chewing and lip smacking involved in this treat gets your mouth to open and close, helping to regulate your breathing.
- Scare or distract yourself. Ask a friend if you need help. Keeping your mind occupied or distracted seems to help your diaphragm settle down.
- Drink water through a paper towel. Forcing yourself to breathe in harder to drink the water makes your diaphragm "pull" more, and suck in more air.
There are even more ways to stop hiccups using the vagus method.