hiccup

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hiccup

or

hiccough,

involuntary spasmodic contraction of the diaphragm followed by a sharp intake of air, which is abruptly stopped by a sudden, involuntary closing of the glottis (opening between the vocal cords); the consequent blocking of air produces a repeated characteristic sharp sound, or hic. It is believed that hiccup is caused by stimulation of the nerve pathways or centers that control the muscles of respiration, particularly the diaphragm. In most instances hiccups are transient, although their course may sometimes be shortened by such measures as holding the breath, deep regular breathing, or rebreathing into a paper bag to increase the carbon dioxide content of the body. However, persistent hiccups may last for weeks, months, or even years. When hiccups are prolonged, therapy may include the administering of certain drugs, inhalation of carbon dioxide, and even interruption of the phrenic nerve either by injection of an anesthetic or by surgery.

hiccup

[′hik·əp]
(medicine)

hiccup

1. a spasm of the diaphragm producing a sudden breathing in followed by a closing of the glottis, resulting in a sharp sound
2. the state or condition of having such spasms
References in periodicals archive ?
Other internet advice includes plugging your ears, sticking your tongue out, drinking water upside down, being tickled, breathing into a brown paper bag or getting someone to kick you on the shin to divert your attention from the hiccups.
s That has failed to stop the hiccups - but appears to have reduced them to a regular on-off pattern.
The hiccups get on my nerves, but at least everyone knows who I am.
Christopher Sands, 25, from Lincolnshire, hiccups persistently every two seconds when his condition is at its worst.
The discovery came to light during an MRI scan in Tokyo after Mr Sands was flown out to Japan by a television station to see a hiccup specialist.
Sudden changes in temperature, excess alcohol or tobacco can also lead to hiccups, as can psychological causes such as excitement or stress.
Finally, a medical attending asked me what I could do to help stop these uncontrolled hiccups, which at this point were becoming detrimental to the patient's well-being.
The form of last year's reappearance victory at Southwell tells us Hiccups can win off his current mark, while his course record - a win and three places from six starts - is a further pointer to his chance.
People sometimes get the hiccups when they eat or drink too fast or too much.
I read, though, that one possible beneficial effect of hiccups is to dislodge foreign pieces of food.