- A hiccup is a sudden, involuntary contraction (spasm) of the diaphragm muscle. When the muscle spasms, the vocal cords snap shut, producing the hiccup sound.
- Common causes of hiccups include:
- eating too quickly, eating or drinking too much,
- diseases that irritate the nerves that control the diaphragm,
- abdominal surgery,
- strokes or
- brain tumors,
- noxious fumes, and
- certain medications.
- Most cases of hiccups can be cured or resolve in a short period of time and are rarely a medical emergency. See your doctor if hiccups last more than three hours, or if they disturb your eating or sleeping habits.
- Home remedies or ways to get rid of hiccups include: holding your breath, drinking a glass of water quickly, pulling hard on your tongue, biting on a lemon, gargling with water, and using smelling salts.
- Rarely, a doctor may prescribe medications such as chlorpromazine (Thorazine), haloperidol (Haldol), and metoclopramide (Reglan) for severe, persistent hiccups.
- Hiccups can be prevented by avoiding overeating, eating too quickly, or drinking too much to help prevent hiccups. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 7/15/2015
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