A cure for hiccups?

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Traditional remedies for the condition have always been a rather hic and miss affair.

But the days of attempting to drink water upside down, having someone inflict a shock on you, or holding your breath as long as possible could be over.

An inventor claims to have developed a device that stops the hiccups every time.

It is little more than a plastic stick with a hole in the middle. The user bites down on the stick and drinks a glass of water through the hole.

It appears the hiccups are stopped by the combination of drinking the water and biting the stick, which makes the throat muscles tense.

The idea was developed after inventor Chuck Ray had a bout of hiccups and decided to experiment by drinking a glass of water with a pen in his mouth - and it eased his symptoms. He said: 'They didn't stop immediately but it was enough to make me believe I was on to something.'

He spent a month developing his idea and getting it tested. Mr Ray added: 'Soon I was getting calls back from people who were amazed at the results. In every single case it worked to stop hiccups, from kids as young as three to adults in their 80s.

'It even worked with several people with more serious chronic hiccups.'

More than 10,000 Hiccup Sticks have now been sold at a cost of approximately $25 for a pack of three online.

Hiccups are a result of the layer of muscle below the ribcage, known as the diaphragm, suddenly and involuntarily contracting. Not all doctors are convinced by Californian Mr Ray's idea, pointing out that hiccups normally subside anyway.

The Hiccup Stick may help those such as Lisa Doherty, of Lincoln, who has been hiccuping every day for almost five years since she was expecting her daughter Emily. Despite giving birth in June 2008 and having a second daughter Sophie this year, her hiccups have not stopped.

She said: 'It's usually just one very loud one every hour. I've tried everything, all the old wives' tales.'

- Daily Mail

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