Hiccups are spasms or sudden movements of the diaphragm that can't be controlled. They produce a "hic" sound.


Causes for short-term hiccups include drinking carbonated beverages or too much alcohol, overeating, being excited or stressed, temperature changes, or swallowing air. Nerve damage and central nervous system disorders, as well as metabolic, drug and alcohol issues, can cause hiccups that last longer.


Symptoms include uncontrolled spasms in the diaphragm and a "hic" sound. Sometimes the chest, stomach area or throat may feel tight. Hiccups usually last for minutes but can continue for months.


Most cases of hiccups go away on their own without medical treatment. If an underlying medical condition is causing hiccups, treating that condition may stop them. If hiccups last longer than two days, medicines or certain procedures may be needed.