Meet Dorthy, a 94-year-old hiccup enthusiast from Texas!

Dr. Ali Seifi, a renowned neuro intensivist physician at the University of Texas, had always been fascinated by the human body’s quirks and oddities. When “Dorothy Wiede,” 94 years old from San Antonio, Texas, who claimed to have a foolproof technique for curing hiccups, reached out, he couldn’t resist the opportunity to investigate. Moreover, she was fascinated by hearing about HiccAway on the news and asked Dr. Seifi to explain it to her.

He reached out to Dorothy and arranged a meeting to learn more about her technique. As he arrived at her beautiful modest house, he was struck by how unassuming it looked. Nevertheless, he was determined to keep an open mind.

Dorthy, who is a retired nurse and a Texas local,  now lives with her daughter Sylvia in a beautiful neighborhood, greeted Dr. Seifi warmly and invited him inside. Dorthy shared with Dr. Seifi her struggles explaining, to her colleagues, the importance of studying hiccups and how to help stop them. For over 50 years, Dorthy felt ignored and put out by the doctors she spoke with. 

Finally, a doctor who will listen and takes the topic of hiccups seriously is here with a solution similar to hers. She was so grateful that, finally, HiccAway as a scientific solution is available to people who are annoyed by hiccups.

She explained that her technique involved holding up the chin and tilting the head back. She had been using this approach for years to help friends and family members eliminate their hiccups. 

Dorthy’s fascination with hiccups and her innovative method aligned with Dr. Seifi and he was pleasantly surprised by such a remarkable woman. 

By Robert Muller

Watch our informal interview here.


Hiccups & Who’s Getting Them?

By – Robert Muller

Hiccups have ailed humans and mammals since the beginning of time, an annoying thing that happens with little reason and no real solution However, there are times that hiccups are no longer just annoying but heavily interfere with eating, sleeping and the quality of life overall.

Since 2017 “How to get rid of hiccups” has been one of the top 5 most asked health related questions on google. More and more people are suffering from hiccups, and some even hospitalized. Yes, hospitalized from the hiccups.

A study recently completed in 2022, led by Ali Seifi MD, associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at UT Health San Antonio, and Mark R. Fox MD. of University Hospital Zürich and Klinik Arlesheim, found a stagering 23,615 patients a year may have been admitted to hospitals in the US for severe hiccups from 2005 – 2018. During this 14 year study period, Nationwide Inpatient Sample( NIS) database of the United States healthcare recorded 330,620 patients admitted from the emergency rooms that had hiccups as one of their discharge diagnoses.

Cases of hiccups may not always have been recorded; however, the number of patients admitted included in the study was large enough not to suspect any systematic bias. These results depend on the accuracy and completeness of the information entered into the NIS database.

The research also shows a large percentage of patients were men in their late 50s. Some of these patients could see $70,000 in medical expenses from being admitted to the hospital for their hiccups.

Most of these hospital admissions have been associated with Gastrointestinal Disease, Acid Reflux Disease, and Chemotherapy for cancer. Patients with Gastrointestinal Disease are 3 times as likely to get hiccups, and patients with Neurological disorders are 2 times more likely to have a hiccup attack.

The information provided in this study will help clinicians to develop pertinent differential diagnoses for patients presenting persistent or recurrent hiccups. We are just now learning how common hiccups can be, and some of the underlying causes of hiccups that may have you visiting the hospital for treatment.

Study of demographics and etiological trends in hiccup hospitalizations in the United States during 2005-2018, A cross-sectional study _ Elsevier Enhanced Reader


How effective are Old Wives’ Tales on Hiccups

The hiccups can range from annoying to even somewhat alarming. While it’s unlikely that your hiccups are connected to a serious health issue, it can be rather aggravating if you keep struggling with them; after all, an individual can at times, hiccup up to 60 times per minute. That amount of hiccups will have you looking for a hiccups cures in no time. But the problem is that many of the cures you find are most likely old wives’ tales. This means that they may be widely circulated, but aren’t actually very effective. Though there are sometimes a bit of truth to old wives’ tales, it’s important to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing as you try to cure your hiccups, so you can prevent wasting time.

What Are The Hiccups, Actually?

To discount some of these old wives’ tales, let’s understand exactly what the hiccups really are. It’s essentially a spasm of your diaphragm, which is caused by the phrenic nerve. You have to raise the carbon dioxide level in your blood in order to stop these spasms, which is done by stopping your intake of oxygen. This means that the best cures for the hiccups include ones such as breathing into a paper bag or holding your breath for an extended period of time.

You may have tried these cures without any success, and it could be that you just weren’t waiting long enough for the fix to work. Typically, you’ll need to hold your breath for at least 30 seconds in order to stop your hiccups from recurring but again there is no exact science for this to accurately work each time. 

What Kinds of Old Wives’ Tales Supposedly Treat the Hiccups?

There are a variety of other old wives’ tales that allegedly treat the hiccups, some of which are more effective than others and some of which are just plain ineffective and way more complicated than holding your breath. Some of the more effective cures are consuming peppermint to relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and eating a spoonful of peanut butter changes your breathing and swallowing pattern because it takes the body longer to digest. 

Startling someone, as the old wives’ tales often instruct, will probably not help their hiccups but it can be fun to do! However drinking water while holding your nose can be more effective but again may not work every time. 
While all these old wives’ tales can be fun to try, they can be frustrating if you’re in need of a solution and don’t see effective results. Because there is no exact science to the cures, they are inconsistent in their results. A more guaranteed solution, that has been tested and proven to work every time is the HiccAway device. The pressure from the suction has been accurately measured to provide enough pressure to stop these spasms every time, providing consistent reliable relief.


Myths About Hiccups

It is safe to say that everyone has experienced hiccups at one point or another in their life. They are caused by spasms in the diaphragm and, while uncomfortable, they are very rarely life-threatening. Most of us simply want to find a way to stop hiccups when they happen, but some myths, including those below, make this a bit difficult.

They Are Caused By Someone Speaking Negatively About You

This first myth has many different variations around the world, but it often boils down to hiccups occurring when you are the topic of a negative discussion. This is simply not true. If that were the case, there would be a lot more instances of hiccups, and there are people who would never stop having them as well. This myth may have been started to keep people from taking part in negative gossip or soothe one afflicted with hiccups, but whatever the case, it is not true.

You can Stop Hiccups by Being Scared or Holding Your Breath

This is another group of myths involving hiccups and their solution. None of these common home solutions work for hiccups, from holding your breath and having someone scare you to drinking water and placing a finger on your forehead. Over time, these solutions were all found not to help, only seeming to work when the hiccups eventually stop on their own by the time you are working on a solution.

You Get Hiccups When Someone Thinks of You

Like the first myth, this one goes that whenever you are on someone’s mind, you will get a case of hiccups. Some people believe to stop hiccups, you must call out the name of the person thinking about you, and they will vanish. Like the other myths, this one also lacks a way of proving it, and by the time you have called out a few people’s names, your hiccups will have reached the end of their cycle anyway.

Some People Never Get Hiccups

While it may be tempting to think that hiccups are a kind of condition and some people are immune or don’t suffer from it, this is also not true. As mentioned, hiccups are spasms of the diaphragm caused by a physical agent, including drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods, to name a few. Everyone has had hiccups at some point in time – even fetuses in the womb have been recorded getting hiccups.

Each Time You Hiccup, Your Heart Skips a Beat

An irregular heartbeat is very dangerous, and while there are several possible causes, hiccups are not one of them. Your heartbeat and hiccups share no relation at all. Some studies have shown a minor fluctuation in heartbeat rhythm when people hiccup, but this disturbance is extremely negligible and comes nowhere close to stopping your heart.

You Can Stop Hiccups by Tickling The Roof 

This is another solution that most well-meaning people swear by. They say that by tickling the roof of your mouth using something like a q-tip, you will stop hiccups. Some scientists have concluded that this trick may distract the mind from focusing on the hiccups, which often seems to worsen them. The tickling sensation may override the irritation that caused the hiccups initially, but all of this is just speculation. Similar activities involve dissolving a spoonful of sugar on your tongue and sticking your fingers in your ears.

While there seems to be a hiccup myth and solution for every culture worldwide, most of them have been disproved. It has also been difficult to study hiccups effectively because they occur randomly, often disappearing as fast as they began.

They are, however, very uncomfortable to experience for most people, and it is for this reason that people are always looking for a way to stop hiccups effectively. The good news is that now, you can stop them the next time they start using our solution. Check it out, and you can give your friends and family some relief the next time they experience hiccups.


Introducing “Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool ” (FISST); a feasible technique in stopping hiccups.

We are introducing the “Forced Inspiratory Suction and Swallow Tool ” ( FISST) as a way with high success in terminating hiccups. In summary, to stop hiccups, you need to forcefully suction the water through a straw that requires a high amount of negative pressure. This high negative pressure can be induced by a valve or a resistance within the straw. This forceful suction requires maximum contraction of the diaphragm muscle by activating the phrenic nerve, which is coming from high cervical vertebrae C3 to C5. After the suction, you should immediately swallow the water. Swallowing requires a complex function of several muscles in the pharynx and larynx, specifically the closure of the epiglottis, to avoid the entrance of water into the trachea. The epiglottis closure is through the vagus nerve activation, which is part of the hiccups cycle.

In summary, FISST simultaneously activates the two main nerves which are responsible for hiccups. And this concurrency stops the vicious cycle between these two nerves. Although most of the physical maneuvers of other remedies stimulate one of these two nerves and muscles, FISST accomplishes both in unison. Prior efforts have attempted either phrenic or vagal nerve stimulation with varying levels of success. FISST has gained more than 90% success in stopping hiccups based on several hundred consumer results, and we hope this new invention brings hope and relieve , especially for patients with chronic hiccups such as cancer patients.