Hiccups and Tinnitus Explained

It is not a doubt that everyone already experienced hiccups and tinnitus at some point. Hiccups and tinnitus are two different conditions that create annoying body manifestations for a short amount of time. But remember, these are just signs and not actual diseases that you have to be scared of although these can be indications of underlying serious conditions especially if they become persistent. To fully understand hiccups and tinnitus, here are short discussions on each of them.


Hiccups take place when the diaphragm is being contracted by a spasm. The diaphragm is the large muscle sheet that separates the abdominal cavity from the chest cavity. This certain spasm will then lead to an intake of breath that suddenly stops as the glottis or the vocal cords close. The closure is the one causing the “hiccup” sound.


•  A very full stomach

•  Eating rapidly

•  Swallowing too much air

•  Intense emotions like euphoria, excitement, anxiety, and fear

•  Laughing

•  Smoking

•  Carbonated beverages, alcohol, and some spicy foods


Hiccups normally stop just within a few minutes or sometimes can last up to few hours. If it persists more than 48 hours, consult a doctor because it can be a sign of a more serious health problem.


Most attacks of hiccups just stop on their own for few minutes and do not anymore require treatment. However, there are home remedies that you can apply – most of them involve increasing intake of carbon dioxide.

•  Hold your breath and count slowly up to 10.

•  Repeatedly breathe into a paper bag for limited span of time.

•  Quickly drink a glass of cold water.

•  Eat a teaspoon of honey or sugar.


Derived from the Latin word meaning “ringing”, tinnitus is the perception of ear sounds (ringing of the ears) without the presence of an actual sound. Its causes depend on its types.

Types and Causes

•  Subjective – the ear sound that only you can hear and considered to be the most common form of tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus can be caused by problems in your inner, outer, and middle ear. It could also be the result of auditory nerve impairment.

•  Objective – this time, it is only the doctor that can hear during examination. This is a rare kind and is said to be caused by muscle contractions, an inner ear bone condition, or blood vessel problem.


In many cases, specific treatment for tinnitus remains unidentified. It can go away on its own or may remain as a permanent disability. Some doctors would recommend niacin but there is still no scientific evidence that can back it up. Treatment usually depends on the cause of the tinnitus.