Scientists Have Invented a Straw That Claims to Instantly Cure Hiccups

Scientists Have Invented a Straw That Claims to Instantly Cure Hiccups
Image: HiccAway
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW - prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Hiccups are the worst, aren’t they? They can come on suddenly for any number of reasons¬†and then refuse to go away.

Over the years a number of myths and hacks have surrounded the curing of hiccups, but scientists have now designed a device that claims to sort your hiccups instantly.

How a drinking straw could cure your hiccups

Science has helped to create a specially designed drinking straw that aims to curb hiccups.

Basically, when you get hiccups your diaphragm spasms and forces air back into your throat where it brushes your vocal cords. This abrupt bout of air causes the vocal folds to shut which creates the ‘hic’ sound.

The HiccAway is a Kickstarter funded device. It consists of a rigid, curved plastic drinking straw with a removable cap and pressure valve at its base. The idea is that someone with hiccups can use the straw to try and take a drink of water.

According to the product page, the extra pressure generated from drinking through the straw impacts the diaphragm and the epiglottis in the throat. This stimulates two nerves – the phrenic and vagus. These nerves are responsible for causing hiccups, so distracting them essentially stops the whole process.

It all sounds a bit complicated but apparently, the science checks out.

A study using the device published in the Jama Open Network Journal surveyed 249 participants. The drinking device was reported to be effective in 92% of hiccup cases, and 90% of participants rated it over normal home remedies.

It may seem strange to buy a dedicated hiccup device when there are more simple home remedies available, but for some people getting rid of hiccups is a persistent problem.

In that case, the HiccAway might just be the solution you’re looking for at $14.95 per straw.

How else can you get rid of hiccups?

While many of the surveyed participants rated the HiccAway over other hiccup remedies, let’s go over what some of those are.

A widely accepted solution to halting hiccups is to drink vinegar. Any kind of vinegar will do but you might want to opt for apple cider or balsamic vinegar for a better taste.

Another is to hold your breath long enough for carbon dioxide to relax your diaphragm.

Of course, you could also try the scare tactic by which someone frightens you enough that the hiccups go away – but there’s no science to support this method.

Log in to comment on this story!