Being overcome by a bout of hiccups can be the worst, especially if you’re at work or in the middle of an important conversation. For centuries, people have tried everything to “cure” hiccups as quickly as possible, from scaring themselves to holding their breath, or chugging tons of water.
Now, a company has launched the ‘HiccAway’, a straw described as a “forced inspiratory suction and swallow tool” that claims to get rid of dread hiccups instantly. According to a study cited by Oddity Central, the device works 92% of the time.
The HiccAway straw consists of a mouthpiece at one end and an adjustable cap with a pressure valve, in the form of a small hole, at the other.
When drinking with the HiccAway, the intense suction required to draw up the liquid activates one’s vagus nerve, one of two nerves in the human body responsible for causing hiccups. By engaging the vagus nerve via suction, the hiccups are then stopped.
Surprisingly, the creator of the HiccAway, Dr Ali Seifi, said he came up with the idea after studying a McFlurry ice cream spoon. Though it is simply a spoon, the odd-looking utensil has often been mistaken as a large straw due to its design.
“It works instantly and the effect stays for several hours,” said Dr Seifi, allaying concerns that the hiccups may return immediately once the user stops drinking through the HiccAway straw.
To prove the device wasn’t a gimmick, Dr Seifi co-authored a study published in the JAMA Network, which analyzed responses from 249 volunteers who used the HiccAway.
The company is also planning to conduct a gold-standard randomized controlled trial with hiccup experts in Japan and Switzerland, to ensure its efficacy for those who suffer from chronic hiccups.
Take a look at how the HiccAway works in the video below.