What Causes A Hiccup And A Yawn?

What causes a hiccup and/or yawn? Find out here what causes them.

Why do we hiccup? Why do we yawn? Both of these involuntary responses have baffled the average person for decades. What are their causes and their functions, exactly? Can we stop ourselves from hiccuping or yawning? Read on to find out.

Hiccups are a result of spasms of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the dome-shaped respiratory muscle seperating the chest from the abdomen. It aids in breathing by moving up and down, sending air in and out of the lungs. Find a picture to get a better idea of how this works. Hiccups are an involuntary (meaning we don't make them happen or continue to happen, they do so on their own, just like breathing and our heart beating are involuntary) rapid closing of the vocal cord that causes the sound you hear, "hiccup!" Common causes of hiccups include eating too fast, indigestion and laughing a lot, thereby inhaling and exhaling air irratically.

Hiccups can be very aggravating to the person having them and to others around us, or it can be quite funny! Hiccups don't cause any medical concern, however. Usually they occur for a very short period of time, but sometimes they can last longer and even tend to occur in the same person frequently. They usually go away on their own, but people for all generations have challenged themselves to find remedies to stop hiccups, like some great American ritual. Some of the popular ways believed to stop hiccups include: holding your breath, having someone scare you and that was supposed to cause them to stop, breathing into a paper bag, swallowing a teaspoon of sugar, and standing on your head while drinking a glass of water,(how in the world could that be done??) In rare cases, if hiccups don't stop, your doctor could prescribe sedating medication. Other than that, hiccups are not a problem, just an annoyance and the subject of humor sometimes.

What about yawning? Why do we yawn? You say because we are sleepy or tired or bored or see someone else doing it, right? Well, these may or may not have merit, but it is unknown, because there is no evidence to substantiate these beliefs. So what else causes it?

The mystery of why we yawn is still not completely solved yet. It is still not known exactly how a yawn occurs either. But the general reason most of us have heard, is pretty much correct. Most professionals believe that yawning is caused by low oxyegen levels in the lungs, in the alveoli of the lungs to be more specific. It is believed that when oxygen levels are low in the lungs, the brain sends us a signal to sigh or yawn, thus causing us to take in more oxygen, which increases oxygen to the alveoli. The alveoli sends the oxyegen directly into the bloodstream. They also rid the body of carbon dioxide when we exhale.

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