The Ice Cream Headache

Posted by on Dec. 07, 2012

The ice cream headache, otherwise known as brain freeze or cold-stimulus headache, is a momentary stabbing headache attributed to the rapid ingestion of cold foods and beverages such as ice cream, shakes, ice pops, and snow cones, among others.

This headache is triggered when something cold touches the roof of the mouth, quickly cooling the nerve center in the area and eventually causing the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the head. When the pain signals are received, we experience the headache and feel it in our forehead and neck area. One comforting fact about this, however, is that it usually lasts for only 30 seconds.

Keeping away from delicious cold desserts might not sound like a good solution to avoid ice cream headaches, so you might want to try the following instead:

  1. Ingest cold foods or beverages slowly to allow the mouth to adapt the temperature of the food.
  2. Drink a beverage with a higher temperature than the food that caused the brain freeze.
  3. Look up for about 10 seconds to balance out the temperature in your head.

Remember: even the coolest things can give you a headache, so just relax and enjoy your ice cream!

[Photo Credit: spaceodissey on Flickr]


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