What causes hiccups?

Why do we hiccup and is there a limit to how long we can hiccup?

Why do we hiccup and is there a limit to how long we can hiccup?

Hiccups are caused by contraction of the diaphragm

Hiccups are caused by the diaphragm contracting in spasmodic jerks. The diaphragm, which is connected to the lungs, helps us when we take a breath.


When the diaphragm contracts, air is forced into the lungs and we inhale. Similarly, a weak diaphragm is beneficial when we exhale.


The voice call causes a hiccup sound

In other words, normal breathing occurs when the diaphragm contracts and relaxes alternately. In rare cases for which doctors still have no explanation, the diaphragm suddenly contracts in spasmodic jerks known as hiccups.


Immediately after such a contraction, the so-called vocal opening in the larynx closes and unleashes a typical hiccup sound.


After that, the breath will return to normal and the same applies to the movements of the diaphragm, until the next hiccup.


Hiccups can last for years

On average, we hiccup six to sixty times a minute. In the vast majority of cases, the hiccups stop on their own, but there are examples of people who continued to hiccup for years.


Doctors do not know how to get rid of hiccups. However, there is a myriad of such advice to be found among players.


Traditional tips include holding your breath, drinking water while standing on your head or eating a spoonful of sugar. What advice is useful varies from person to person.

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