A tool to stop hiccups

If FISST becomes mainstream, traditional techniques such as drinking water or holding your breath may no longer be required to stop hiccups.   | Photo Credit:

How often do you have hiccups? Once in a week or month? And when you have these hiccups, how long do these last? Irrespective of how long it does last, it isn’t something most of us enjoy.

There are different home remedies often suggested to stop hiccups. Drinking water, having a spoonful of sugar, and holding your breath for as long as you can are some of the more popular ones often tried by many.

Science-based intervention

Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio have described a new science-based intervention for hiccups in a research letter published in a journal in June. A new term has been coined by the researchers for the intervention: “forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool” or FISST.

FISST is a rigid drinking tube. It has an inlet valve requiring strong suction in order to draw water from a cup into the mouth. Hiccups are relieved as the suction and swallow action that we employ with it stimulate two nerves simultaneously.

To test the tool’s effectiveness, hundreds of individuals who stated that they had hiccups occasionally joined the project and received FISSTs. Nearly half of them filled out a survey about their experience using the device, as opposed to more traditional methods of stopping hiccups.

Good success rate

More than nine out of every 10 users not only said that the device was easy to use, but also indicated the FISST was effective in doing what it was intended to do – stopping hiccups.

While initial testing has provided favourable responses, the researchers hope to conduct a double-blind trial in the future. When doing this, they will give FISST to one group of participants and a similar looking non-functional device to the other group. The immediate challenge for the researchers right now is to create a device that looks similar to FISST, but doesn’t actually stop hiccups.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 6:51:01 AM |

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