Many of us have some cure for hiccups, whether it’s drinking water upside down or holding our breath, but a peculiar type of straw, developed by a peculiar type of scientist, seems to be impressively effective.
To stop 92% of on-site seizures, the L-shaped straw requires a sucking and swallowing motion and is available as a proprietary product for around $ 15.
Singultus, as hiccups are known, are contractions of the diaphragm and the muscles between the floating ribs, known as intercostals. The strong air intake causes the vocal cords to resonate, creating the sound that gives singultus its common name.
Although often nothing more than an annoyance, a group of scientists mention in a study that hiccups can last in some people for days, even weeks. A terrifying prospect.
When the straw is placed into a glass of water, a pressure valve at the bottom of the straw blocks the water from moving upward as fast as the force of human-generated suction would normally allow. This causes the phrenic nerve to activate the full capacity of the diaphragm, while swallowing uses something called the vagus nerve.
These two parts of the nervous system are the cause of the contractions in the first place, so keeping them busy prevents them from doing so.
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