Hiccups are sudden, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. As the muscle contracts repeatedly, the opening between your vocal cords snaps shut to check the inflow of air and makes the hiccup sound. Irritation of the nerves that extend from the neck to the chest can cause hiccups.
Many conditions are associated with hiccups, but none has been shown to be the cause of hiccups.
•If you eat too fast, you can swallow air along with your food and end up with a case of the hiccups.
•Any other practices that might irritate the diaphragm such as eating too much (especially fatty foods) or drinking too much (drunk people hiccup) can make you prone to having hiccups.
•In these instances, your stomach, which sits underneath and adjacent to the diaphragm, is distended or stretched. Because they occur in relation to eating and drinking, hiccups are sometimes thought to be a reflex to protect you from choking.
Try these methods at home:
•Hold your breath.
•Drink a glass of water quickly.
•Use smelling salts.
•Pull hard on your tongue.
•Place one-half teaspoon of dry sugar on the back of your tongue. (You can repeat this process 3 times at 2-minute intervals. Use corn syrup, not sugar, in young children.)
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