Hicc-Away Heroes

The HiccAway product

I just can’t stop hic – hic – hiccupping! 

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying…

What’s YOUR favorite home remedy? A good scare? Upside-down drinking? 

Hiccups are caused by spasms of the diaphragm — the muscle separating the chest and abdomen. This spasm forces air into the lungs, forcing a flap in our throat to close. Making the characteristic HIC sound! 

But can you imagine LIVING with hiccups long-term?! Hiccups can be chronic for patients recovering from strokes or undergoing chemotherapy. 

Enter hiccup heros led by Ali Seifi at the University of Texas Health Science Center. They designed the HiccAway, which looks like a straw. This ex-STRAW-dinary tool uses enhanced suction to make the diaphragm lower. This opens the flap in the throat, stopping the hiccups. 

Nearly two-hundred and fifty frequent hiccupers compared the HiccAway to traditional cures. Almost all of them found HiccAway more effective than home remedies and ex-STRAW easy to use! 

Hiccups are annoying, but no reason to be di-STRAW-t … sorry, can’t — hic — help it!

Reference: Alvarez, J., Anderson, J. M., Snyder, P. L., Mirahmadizadeh, A., Godoy, D. A., Fox, M., & Seifi, A. (2021). Evaluation of the Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool to Stop Hiccups. JAMA Network Open, 4(6), e2113933. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13933

Photo credit: HiccAway