“hiicuuup” There’s that familiar sound again. It interrupts your conversations, keeps you from sleeping, and just is so darn annoying. From the quiet library to a beautiful wedding ceremony, they have no discretion; they will start as they please. But what exactly is the source of our discomfort? Hiccups are sudden, involuntary contractions of the diaphragm muscle. As the muscle contracts repeatedly, the opening between the vocal cords snaps shut, making the famous hiccup sound. The word hiccup is an onomatopoeia that first appeared in the early 18th century, but was being called hickop or hicket in the 16th century. According to “John P. Cunha, an article writer for Emedicine” hiccups were started as early as being a fetus in the womb. Fetuses use hiccups in respiration before their lungs are fully developed. This might explain why some premature infants spend 2.5 percent of their time hiccupping more than a full term baby. As we get older, it is said that our bouts of hiccups should decrease, but unfortunately with some, this does not happen. An average time length for hiccups is from a couple minutes to a few hours. For some that last longer than 48 hours, it is called persistent hiccups. And for those who’s last longer than a month, it is called intractable hiccups. Any hiccups that last more than 3 hours, it can cause insomnia, fatigue due to not being able to eat properly, communication problems, and depression. Persistent and intractable hiccups can have more serious causes, and should be seen by a doctor. One unfortunate man with the name of Charles Osborne, had hiccups from 1922 to 1990. That’s 68 years of constant hiccups! I as well get hiccups often. One time at work, I was sitting in an exam room with a client and their pet when my hiccups started up randomly. I tried holding my breath so they would stop, but it seemed like they would never go away. I tried to keep them as quiet as I could, until they got too much...
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