Can You Scare Away Hiccups? What Old Wives' Tales Really Mean

Are these myths and superstitions a bunch of hooey or worth your time? (8 Photos)

Gina Roberts-Grey on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:49PM

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Can You Scare Away Hiccups? What Old Wives' Tales Really Mean

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You Can Scare Away the Hiccups

Actually, you just might. “A hiccup is a diaphragm spasm followed by closure of the vocal cords. Because they are less likely to occur when your blood carbon dioxide rises, which happens when you breathe or hold your breath, you might be able to scare the hiccups away,” says Amy Baxter M.D., director of emergency research at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “When you’re suddenly scared, you change your breathing pattern, which could get rid of them.” Drinking water might help, too, because as you’re gulping, you’re holding your breath.

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