• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Note On Emerging Science: A Fix For Hiccups

Air Date: Week of

stream/download this segment as an MP3 file

There are many home remedies for “curing” hiccups, though they are rarely backed by science. Pictured is a hiccuper drinking water while others cover his ears. (Photo: Radrice, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

For most of us hiccups may be just an occasional annoyance, but they can greatly reduce quality of life for people suffering stroke and brain injury, and some chemotherapies can cause frequent hiccups. Now at last there may be a solid treatment. Living on Earth’s Tivara Tanudjaja reports on how researchers have developed a tool to help halt hiccup spasms.

Transcript

CURWOOD: Just ahead we’ll have our weekly trip beyond the headlines but first this note on emerging science from Tivara Tanudjaja.

[SCIENCE NOTE THEME]

We all have our own theories on how to cure hiccups, like breathing into a bag, getting surprised or holding your breath for a time…

They don’t always work for everyone, but researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have found something that might just do the job.

They have created a science-based intervention for hiccups called the Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool.

It’s a drinking tube with a valve that requires forceful suction to draw water from the cup and into the mouth. It’s much like trying to drink through a blocked straw. And by stimulating the phrenic and vagus nerves, the suction and swallow action ends the “hiccup spasms.”

According to their survey, the drinking tube helped stop hiccups in nearly 92% of cases.

For most of us, hiccups are an occasional annoyance, but for others, hiccups can greatly reduce quality of life. For example, some chemotherapies can cause frequent hiccups. Researchers hope the tool will help cancer patients as well as those suffering stroke and brain injury.

Although the drinking tube must still undergo clinical trials, researchers are hopeful the tool would help with both the occasional and frequent hiccups. They hope to scale up and make it available to the public in the near future.

That’s this week’s note on emerging science, I’m Tivara Tanudjaja.

 

Links

EurekaAlert! | “Team Describes Science-Based Hiccups Intervention”

 

Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

P.O. Box 990007
Prudential Station
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Telephone: 1-617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth