'Hiccup' yelping woman's hope after eight years

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Media captionLisa Graves likens the sounds to the yelp a dog makes when someone stands on it

A woman who has been making involuntary hiccup-like yelping sounds for eight years hopes to finally get cured.

Lisa Graves began making the sounds in January 2008 and thought they were hiccups linked to pregnancy.

But she carried on making the sounds - which she likens to the yelp a dog makes when someone stands on it - after giving birth.

The mother-of-two is now getting help from neurologists and is due to have MRI and MRA scans on Sunday.

"The neurologists are keen to confirm whether they are hiccups or whether it might be a tic," she said.

"They sound like you've stood on a dog or something, like a dog yelping if you stood on its tail.

"Someone suggested maybe it started off as a long bout of hiccups but then became a behavioural thing."

Image copyright Lisa Graves
Image caption Lisa Graves, from Lincoln, originally thought the sounds were hiccups but now believes they could be something different

She is also due to be admitted to hospital for a few days so her brain can be monitored while she makes the sounds.

"It's completely random. I might do 20 in an hour and then not do any in an hour," she said.

"They vary in volume. A lot of the time they are really loud."

The beautician works from home and said her clients are used to the yelps.

But she said activities like going to the cinema or a restaurant can be embarrassing so she avoids doing them.

She went to the pub for the first time in years just before Christmas and found it awkward.

"I walked in and let out this random noise," she said.

"I'm fed up of people looking at me, staring and making people jump."

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