Hiccups are short, repetitive noisy intakes of air caused due to involuntary contraction of the diaphragm followed by rapid closure of the vocal cords.
Usually they do not last for more than a few minutes. Hiccups may start without any specific reason or may be due to ingestion of hot and spicy food, inhalation of fumes or any disease affecting the nerves controlling the diaphragm.
- Make the individual hold his breath as long as possible.
- Let him have cold water.
- Make the individual breathe into a paper bag and re-breathe the exhaled air for a minute.
- Consult a doctor if hiccups persist beyond a few hours.