Drink water while plugging your ears to stop hiccups.

Diet & Nutrition

Hiccups can be annoying or even embarrassing when you can’t control the hiccup sound in public. You’ve held your breath, you’ve hung upside down—maybe someone has even tried to scare them out of you. But these old tricks simply do not work.

The cure for hiccups relies wholly on how they happen to begin with. When your diaphragm muscle involuntarily or suddenly contracts, the opening between the vocal cords snaps shut and stops airflow. When that happens repeatedly, the combination of the noise from the air and your vocal cords creates that familiar “hiccup” sound. 

If you drink water while plugging your ears, you can trick your body into stopping the hiccups from happening. The pressure created from plugging your ears while drinking water helps correct the diaphragm spasm—leaving the diaphragm to work normally again. Since you will need both hands to plug your ears, you might need to ask a friend to help you hold up the glass of water while you drink.

People who have long-term hiccups usually have more extensive nerve damage or irritation to the nerves that serve the diaphragm muscle. Other central nervous system or metabolic disorders can also cause hiccups. So, if this little trick doesn’t help (and the hiccups don’t go away on their own) consider talking to your doctor.

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