June 19, 2021

Hiccup Cure with the HiccAway Device


Skeptical?


I sure was... But Texas researchers appear to have developed a truly legitimate product with limited published research to back it up... and numerous 5 star reviews on Amazon. Fairly expensive for a device that looks and works like a straw, the "forced inspiratory suction and swallow" gadget dubbed HiccAway straw has a low-cost design and straightforward mode of action. With use, it stimulates both the phrenic and vagus nerves which are both responsible for hiccups. However, the simultaneous activation of both nerves stops the vicious cycle between these two nerves. Although most of the physical maneuvers of other remedies stimulate one of these two nerves and muscles, HiccAway accomplishes both in unison... ergo curing hiccups. The device itself is a rigid drinking tube with an inlet valve that requires suction effort to draw water from a cup into the mouth. The suction effort results in high negative intrathoracic pressure requiring diaphragm contraction followed immediately by closure of the epiglottis 


In research comparing the HiccAway straw to home remedies of choice in 249 participants, 92% reported the device stopped hiccups. Over 90% rated it favorably and found it more feasible compared to home remedies.


Directions of use is as follows:

  1. Put the cap on the desired setting, either CHILD or ADULT. Note that the tab on the cap should be facing the setting you choose. 
  2. Place the HiccAway into a glass of water. Note that the cup of water should be shallow, less than half full. If the length of the device is significantly submerged, it will lower the power of suction. 
  3. Forcibly sip from the mouthpieces and immediately swallow, in one breath. Repeat 2-3 cycles without stopping.


For those tortured by recurrent hiccups, this device may be worth a shot!


Having used one myself, it is kind of like drinking through a regular straw that is 80% pinched off somewhere.


Reference:

Evaluation of the Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool to Stop Hiccups. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(6):e2113933. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13933
 


Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.


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