This Is When You Should Worry About Your Hiccups

Most people don't give the hiccups a second thought. While cute to witness in a child or a goofy cartoon character on television, most people would deem hiccups as pesky but hardly consider them a medical emergency. For most people, a bout of hiccups will generally subside within a matter of minutes, but for others, this frustrating involuntary reflex can go on for much longer and even compromise one's quality of life (via National Health Service).

Hiccups can be sorted into three categories: acute hiccups, persistent hiccups, and intractable hiccups. Acute hiccups are those familiar short-lived hiccups you've probably experienced after drinking a carbonated soda. On the other hand, persistent hiccups will last for days and intractable hiccups as long as months (via Loyola University Health System). In fact, Iowa resident Charles Osborne lived with the hiccups for the vast majority of his life over the course of 68 years, earning his story a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records (via Sioux City Journal).

How to relieve a bout of hiccups

With thousands of people receiving hospital care annually for the hiccups, it's important to know the signs for when those cute little squeak sounds become cause for concern (via Loyola University Health System). According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, you should seek medical consultation if your hiccups last for more than two days to determine if there may be an underlying health condition responsible for your ongoing episodes.

What prompts a bout of hiccups will vary by individual. Instead of having someone jump out and scare you from behind, experts at Better Health offer alternate suggestions to help get rid of your hiccups. For example, the positioning of your body may help relieve symptoms by sitting down, leaning slightly forward, and tucking your knees up into your chest. Additionally, some food and drink items may also offer some relief such as taking slow sips of cold water, swallowing granulated sugar, or sucking on a lemon slice. Avoid spicy food and refrain from chewing gum as this invites more air into your system further exacerbating your hiccups (via National Health Service).

With these tips and tricks, hopefully your hiccups will pass just as quickly as they began!