We have heard old wives’ tales of remedies for stopping hiccups. Most of them would never work.
However, a scientist based at the University of Texas Health Science Center has just discovered a tool to stop hiccups that might actually work.
Surprisingly, Dr Ali Seifi’s discovery was inspired by none other than a McFlurry straw.
According to a report by BBC
, the neuro-intensive care physician happened to watch his son trying to suck up a McFlurry through the straw that fashioned like an open-ended spoon with a very small opening at the bottom.
Inspired by everyday item
The report said his son struggled to get the ice cream through it, and he had to suck harder, causing his diaphragm to contract.
Seifi then went ahead and created HiccAway, a L-shaped straw mimicking the McFlurry straw.
It apparently has a mouthpiece at one end and a pressure valve at the other working together to eliminate hiccups.
HiccAway needs the user to apply a heavy amount of suction force to pull up liquids through it, in turn causing their abdomen to lower and their epiglottis to close.
This move apparently stimulates two nerves – the vagus and phrenic nerves – responsible for controlling the diaphragm and breathing mechanisms, which can stop hiccups.
There was even a study to get people to experiment with the tool to see if it works.
Out of 203 participants, over 90 percent of participants reported that it stopped hiccups!
It is now being sold for US$14 (RM58) but Seifi said people can also make the tool themselves by taking a McFlurry straw and narrowing the hole at the top.
Dare to try?