For most of us the hiccups are a temporary annoyance which only last a few minutes.
But desperate Daniel Clavin is at his wits' end - after suffering from the hiccups non-stop for 14 MONTHS.
The dad-of-two hiccups on average every seven seconds, meaning he has done an estimated 5.25 million since he started in July last year.
The problem is so bad they sometimes make him pass out and keep him awake for hours at night.
He spends many nights in the spare room so long-suffering wife Susan can get some sleep.
But after more than a year of making his life a misery Daniel is still searching for a cure.
He has seen a number of experts, had two endoscopies, a cat scan, changed his diet, taken tranquilisers and consulted a chiropractor - all in vain.
Daniel, a software worker with British Telecom, is now waiting for an MRI scan fearing that the hiccups may be an indication of a serious medical problem.
He said: 'They've taken over my life. I woke up with them one morning after a stag do and I've had them ever since.
'I've no idea why they started - I'd had more to drink than I had for some time but it was nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual mix of beer and spirits.
'Some days are worse than others and on odd days they'll stop, but they can get so bad I pass out or throw up my food.
'There are times when I can't breathe for 30 seconds because they lock up my diaphragm.
'Nights are bad and sometimes I wake up and the whole bed is shaking because they are so violent and I'll go to sleep in a different room so Susan can get some rest.
'I've learned to control them to some extent and disguise them and hiccup quietly but when I stop thinking about them they start sounding again.
'People find it quite funny when they first meet me but then it becomes quite annoying for someone to have to listen to.'
Daniel, dad to Harry, three, and 10 month-old daughter Megan, says he has been able to continue working as he is deskbound and has little contact with people outside his office.
He added: 'I've tried all the old wives' tales like eating sugar and vinegar and all manner of supposed cures, but nothing's worked.
|WHAT DAN HAS DONE TO TRY TO STOP HIS HICCUPS: |
1. Breathing quickly in bursts
2. Stretching the diaphragm by slowly breathing in
3. Sucking a lemon
4. Drinking through straws
5. Drinking vinegar
6. Taking a spoonful of sugar
7. Drinking water upside down
8. Drop a cold key down your back
9. Burping as much as possible
10. Being tickled
11. Getting a fright
12. Biting a pencil, and drinking water without it falling out
13. Hold breath for a long time
14. Doing forward rolls
15. Standing on your head
'Last month (Aug) I had some relief after seeing a chiropractor who manipulated the phrenic nerve in my neck which is connected to the diaphragm.
'They stopped for ten days and I thought I'd finally got rid of them - but then they started again and are as bad as ever.
'I've tried to keep cheerful but I'm at the stage now where I'm scraping the barrel for ideas and looking for people to help me.
'The medical community doesn't seem to know what to do, but it is quite rare.
'I'm told there's only a handful of people in the world at this moment who will have hiccups as bad.'
He decided to have an MRI scan after reading of Chris Sands, 29, from Lincolnshire, who had hiccups for nearly three years before a scan in 2008 detected a brain tumour.
Daniel, from Co Roscommon, Eire, said: 'Obviously that's a worst-case scenario but I need to have one done at least to eliminate it.'
Susan, 38, said: 'He's in a bad way and they are getting him down.
'He's constantly losing his breath and it's difficult for anyone to concentrate on anything else when he's around.
'They can wake me up in the night and I then lie there waiting for the next one and I have to send him out of the room.'
She added: 'He's had blood tests and tried different diets, thinking they might be related to gluten but nothing's worked.
'We seem to have exhausted the stomach route and are now looking at nerves as being a possible cause.
'He's seen a chiropractor who thought it could be related to his posture and he had 12 days' relief but they came back again really bad out of the blue.
'We are just desperate to find someone who can help him because the hiccups are ruining our lives.'