United Kingdom

The final straw for hiccups as inventor finds ‘instant cure’

On sale for $14 (£10) the device – a rigid straw with a mouthpiece at one end and a pressure valve at the other - is deceptively simple.

Hiccups are repeated spasms of the diaphragm, with the "hic" sound coming from the vocal cords closing at the same time.

Drinking water through the straw mimics the effect of trying to drink a thick milkshake.

It stimulates the phrenic and vagus nerves, which are responsible for hiccups, and allows the brain to reset.

“It works instantly and the effect stays for several hours,” said Dr Seifi.

The device was tested on 249 regular hiccuppers with more than 90 per cent saying it improved their symptoms in a study published on Friday. The vast majority also said it gave better results than other methods, and that it was more convenient - although the results were all self-reported and there was no control group.

Customer reviews on Amazon, where the device is on sale, are also encouraging, if not unanimous. So far, 69 per cent gave the device five stars.

And if it doesn't work for you? You can always try drinking water backwards or shouting "boo!"

Hiccups are embarrassing and painful, and rumoured cures abound.

The NHS suggests sipping ice-cold water, biting on a lemon, sipping vinegar or holding your breath.

The Canadian Family Physician journal has a series of even more drastic remedies, including inhaling pepper to induce a sneeze.

But help may now be at hand thanks to a Texas physician who was inspired by watching his son trying to drink a McDonald’s McFlurry – a cross between a milkshake and ice cream - through a straw.

Dr Ali Seifi, associate professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, has come up with the HiccAway – more formally known as a “forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool”.

Football news:

The Premier League referees were advised not to award dubious penalties, as on Sterling in the Euro 2020 semi-final
Chelsea offered more than 100 million euros and Marcos Alonso for Lukaku. Inter refused to sell the Belgian
Shomurodov on moving to Roma: I will do everything possible to show my abilities in one of the biggest clubs in the world
Roma bought Shomurodov for 17.5 million euros from Genoa
Monaco bought the midfielder Lyon Lucas for 12 million euros
Aldridge on the new contract of Manchester United and Sulscher: Fans of Liverpool, Chelsea and City are rejoicing
Mbappe will not leave PSG this summer, but he is also not negotiating a new contract (Le Parisien)