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If you’ve ever had a case of hiccups (sure you have), you’ll know that it isn’t a fun time. You struggle to deal with the uncomfortable sensation of your diaphragm spasming every few seconds (a useless emergency reflex caused by panic nerve impulses), and can sometimes feel frustrated or even embarrassed if the problem somehow persists for longer than expected.
Most of the time, people dealing with hiccups may become desperate enough to try recommended “cures”, some of which include holding their breath, to gulping down a glass of water “upside down”, to even standing on their heads, but often to no avail.
One of the many suggested cures for hiccups is to drink water “upside down”. IMAGE: StyleCaster
But a recent discovery by a scientist based at the University of Texas Health Science Center may just have led to an effective cure for hiccups that works almost instantly, and it was inspired by none other than a McFlurry “straw”.
Simple, but effective.
The discovery was made by Dr. Ali Seifi – a neuro-intensive care physician at the university, who received inspiration for the cure after watching his son try to suck up a McFlurry through the “straw” usually provided with the desert.
With the “straw” actually being more of an open-ended spoon with a very small opening at the bottom, Seifi noticed how his son struggled to get the ice cream through it, causing him to use harder suctioning force and thus causing his diaphragm to contract.
This gave Seifi the idea of creating an L-shaped straw called the HiccAway that mimics the qualities of the McFlurry spoon, with a mouthpiece at one end and a pressure valve at the other working together to eliminate hiccups.
More specifically, the HiccAway requires the user to exert a heavy amount of suction force to pull up liquids through it, in turn causing their abdomen to lower and their epiglottis (the piece of cartilage located in the throat behind the tongue) to close.
This then stimulates two nerves – the vagus and phrenic nerves – responsible for controlling the diaphragm and breathing mechanisms, and triggers the brain into resetting itself, and finally putting an end to the hiccups.
In a study featuring 203 participants, over 90 percent of participants reported that the HiccAway was effective at getting rid of their hiccup problems.
And at US$14 a straw, the HiccAway does seem like a pretty neat tool to have around the house for whenever the pesky spasms show up.
Alternatively, Seifi says that people can also engineer their own version of the straw by taking a McFlurry straw/spoon and narrowing the hole at the top to stimulate the pressure of sucking through an extremely-restricted airway.
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ที่มา : Mashable