- Brain freeze (ice cream headache) occurs when someone consumes something cold (or enters cold temperatures) very quickly.
- It results in a short-term headache that lasts anywhere from a couple seconds to a few minutes.
- While it’s not serious, it will cause a sudden and sharp pain in the front of the head (forehead region).
- The only treatment is to stop (or slow down) consuming the cold food or drink and wait for it to pass.
Most of us have experienced brain freeze before. It’s that head pounding sensation that comes after eating or drinking something really cold like ice cream or a slushy. While it’s not painful, it’s certainly an unpleasant feeling.
It often stops people in their tracks, as they wince and grab their forehead in hopes that will stop. Ever wondered why brain freeze happens in the first place? We look into answering this question by looking into the science behind brain freeze, the common symptoms, causes, treatment options, and some prevention tips…
What is Brain Freeze?
The scientific term for ‘brain freeze’ is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, but Cleveland Clinic notes it’s more commonly referred to as an ice cream headache, cold-induced headache or a cold stimulus headache. It occurs when something extremely cold touches the upper palate (roof of the mouth), like when someone consumes something cold too fast, explains Medical News Today.
Brain freeze occurs as a brief, but intense pain that is felt in the front of the head (forehead region) or a short-term headache.