Developed the first straw capable of eliminating hiccups
Today there are countless alternatives and “home remedies” to deal with the hiccup, but now a new straw-shaped tool offers the possibility to completely eliminate the problem. Strange as it may seem, HiccAway, as the strange instrument is called, is already on the market. With it comes the promise to face the hiccup and delete it permanently.
In general, ideas like this seem more like a joke than reality. However, a recent publication in the JAMA Network Open magazine informs us that the tool is serious about offering a solution to the hiccups. But how?
How does hiccups arise?
Before delving into how the HiccAway straw eliminates hiccups, it is important to understand how it originates. Basically, we know it’s therea manifestation of involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. However, this is not where the sobs that often interrupt us at inopportune moments are generated. In fact, these noises are produced by the contraction of our vocal cordswhich suddenly close in response to movements of the diaphragm.
To stop such a chain reaction, home remedies recommend anything from drinking lots of water, drinking upside down and holding your breath, drinking lemon juice, or consuming a spoonful of sugar. All of them, although widely used, have not been scientifically confirmed as a true solution to hiccups.
Hiccaway, the drop that says goodbye to hiccups
Now researchers James Alvarez, Jane Margaret Anderson, Patrick Larry Snyder, Alireza Mirahmadizadeh, Daniel Agustin Godoy and Mark Fox, led by neurologist Ali Seifi, have plans to bring a different alternative to market.
Using the HiccAway straw, besides being simple, should be a guarantee that people could by eliminate hiccups. According to the creators of the tool, all it would take is to dip the straw into a glass at least half full of water and start sucking it up.
In theory, the extra effort made with the pressure valves to get the water up the straw should be enough to make our diaphragm “calm down” and leave the spasms behind. On the other hand, in practice, of the 249 volunteers who filled out an online survey, 90% said that HiccAway really achieved its goal.
How can a simple straw help us eliminate hiccups?
According to the explanation given by the researchers, it all has to do with the use of pressure valves to stimulate the vagus and phrenic nerves. Technically, by increasing the effort we have to make to absorb water through the straw, the activity of these nerves should help the body eliminate the spasms of hiccups.
Now, to make the straw even more efficient, there are two types of valves at the bottom. Each requires a different type of pressure intensity to function. This way it suits the needs of both children and adults, as what would be good for one may be too much or too little for the other.
Despite the good preliminary results, the data were obtained through findings that did not have additional controls. In other words, the information is based on the subjective observations of the participants. To start considering the Hiccaway straw as a real alternative, they will more research needed which include random samples and the use of placebos.