Cure the—hic!—hiccups before they drive you—hic!—crazy

The longest case of hiccups lasted for 68 years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records (and Wikipedia). A teenage girl in Florida was reported to have hiccupped 50 times a minute for over five weeks.

Most attacks of hiccups aren’t nearly as severe, but they can be annoying for the victim as well as those nearby. Drugs, and in some cases surgery, have proved helpful, but no specific treatment has been shown to be completely effective. That hasn’t stopped well-intentioned people from prescribing all sorts of remedies, including these:

• Hold your breath. The idea is to force your diaphragm to relax. Take a deep breath, and hold it for 10 seconds. Let it out partially, then continue to hold your breath for another five seconds. Repeat until you run out of air. You may have to do this two or three times.

• Drink water. This popular method calls for you to drink a glass of water while holding your breath and pinching your nostrils shut.

• Plug your ears. Stick your fingers in your ears, or on the soft spots behind your ears, for about 30 seconds. This will stimulate your vagus nerve and cause it to stop or at least ease your hiccups.

• Stick out your tongue. Extend your tongue from your mouth as far as you can (preferably when no one else is watching!). This opens your throat wide and helps you breathe more smoothly.

• Try some sugar. A spoonful of dry sugar can overload the nerve endings in your mouth and throat, some say. One variation: Soak a sugar cube in lemon juice and hold it in your mouth until it dissolves. (Some sources also recommend slowly eating a slice of dry bread.)