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Why Do You Get Brain Freeze

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Treatment For Brain Freeze

Why do You Get a Brain Freeze?

The cure for brain freeze is actually very simple, and something you can do on your own. The moment you start to experience a brain freeze, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

The heat from your tongue will transfer heat and energy to your sinuses behind your nose, which will then warm the nerve bundles that cause brain freeze. Keep your tongue firmly against the roof of your mouth until you feel the pain start to dissipate.

You can keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth for as long as it takes for the brain freeze to completely disappear.

Why Do You Get Brain Freeze When You Drink A Slurpee

The Slurpee, Froster, or ICEE are the true champions of the brain freeze. The Slushee could never equal the ICEE in terms of brain freeze power! All you have to do is suck down an Icee too fast and youre almost guaranteed a satisfying, and yet not so satisfying, cold headache. Whats funny is weve got myths about the greatest brain freeze product ever invented, and weve got myths about the physiological origins of the brain freeze itself. But is it really a cold headache?

Most people realize that it has something to do with all that cold stuff hitting the roof of the mouth. But it doesnt just cause pain in the roof of the mouth. It causes a full-blown skull-exploding headache in the forehead and temple area. How? Here are some explanations. People will repeat one of these to you as if it has been rigorously proven, butnah.

Looking for a more efficient brain-freeze inducer? The Slurpee is your drink of choice, then.

Public Speaking Anxiety And Fear Of Brain Freezes

The fear of public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders, or heights. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that public speaking anxiety, or glossophobia, affects about 73% of the population. The underlying fear is judgment or negative evaluation by others. Public speaking anxiety is considered a social anxiety disorder.

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Why Do You Get It

Brain freeze, also called an “ice-cream headache,” is known in medical terms as a “cold-stimulus headache,” Goldberg said. It’s a common phenomenon that affects people of all ages, but doctors aren’t quite sure why it happens.

For this type of headache, the main trigger is any kind of exposure to a significantly cold temperature, Goldberg said. It’s not only caused by an internal trigger, like eating frozen treats too quickly it can also be caused by an external trigger, such as going outside without a hat on a frigid day or diving into a very cold lake.

Brain freeze may start when a very cold substance food or air, for example hits the roof of the mouth or the back of the throat and stimulates blood vessels and nerves in these temperature-sensitive areas.

A small study presented in 2012 found that the sudden increase in blood flow and resulting increase in size of the anterior cerebral artery, a blood vessel located in the middle of the brain behind the eyes, may be responsible for brain freeze pain. The study found that when patients’ brain freeze ended, the artery constricted and reduced blood flow, which is likely what caused the pain to disappear. The researchers said they suspect that an increase in pressure within the skull, brought on by increased blood flow to the head, is what causes the pain.

Vasodilation Is Probably Part Of A Self

Why do we get Brain Freeze?

Dr. Serrador said:

The brain is one of the relatively important organs in the body, and it needs to be working all the time. Its fairly sensitive to temperature, so vasodilation might be moving warm blood inside tissue to make sure the brain stays warm.

If dilated arteries cause a sudden rush of blood to the brain, which raises pressure and causes pain, a drug that constricts the blood vessel should reduce pressure and eliminate the pain. Also, constricting the blood vessels that supply the brain could help prevent pressure building up dangerously high.

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How To Prevent Brain Freeze

Scientific studies support what you probably already know, that you can largely avoid brain freeze by eating frozen food s-l-o-o-o-w-l-y.

Keeping frozen food towards the front of your mouth and away from the cold-sensitive roof of your mouth can help as well.

If you are drinking super-cold drinks like slushies or milkshakes, use a spoon instead of a straw.

Drinking through a straw channels the cold liquid directly to the nerve that triggers pain.

This helps to keep the ice cream from hitting the nerve bundle on your palate.

And dont eat ice cream thats frozen rock-hard.

Let it warm up a bit.

Should I Seek Medical Attention For Brain Freeze

You dont need medical attention for a brain freeze. But if you get frequent headaches that last a while, talk to your healthcare provider.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

A brain freeze can be painful, but its not serious and goes away on its own quickly. You can prevent ice cream headaches by avoiding very cold foods, drinks and freezing air. If you get a brain freeze, try pressing your thumb or tongue against the roof of your mouth. Or drink something warm or room temperature.

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How To Prevent It

The pain of brain freeze is so fleeting that there’s no need to treat it, but it can be tricky to avoid, Goldberg said. Of course, people could forgo frozen treats and beverages altogether, but what fun is that?

If you’re prone to this harmless headache, the best way to prevent it is to slow down when consuming ice-cold foods and drinks and keep the cold substances away from your upper palate.

Some people say that drinking warm water slowly once the pain begins may help short-circuit the symptoms of brain freeze. Others recommend curling the underside of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, which can bring warmth to this sensitive spot.

Additional resources:

Brain Freeze: What Causes It How To Stop It

Why You Get Brain Freeze

Edited and medically reviewed by Patrick Alban, DC | Written by Deane Alban

The sudden pain of brain freeze is common, but harmless. Learn why it happens, helpful remedies, and the link between brain freeze and migraine headaches.

Youre enjoying an ice cream, popsicle, or frozen drink when suddenly a lightning bolt of pain shoots to the top of your head.

A few agonizing seconds later the pain subsides and youre back to eating, but a little more cautiously.

Youve just experienced the weird phenomenon known as brain freeze.

After its over, you may wonder

Why does brain freeze happen?

Is it dangerous?

Whats the fastest way to make it stop?

Here are the answers to these burning questions and a few other things youve always wanted to know about brain freeze.

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How To Stop Brain Freeze

In order to stop the process, the most effective way to curtail the pain is to bring the temperature of your mouth back to normal. You can do this by removing the cold food in your mouth and drinking something warm or room temperature, suggests Johns Hopkins Medicine.

If you dont have anything with which to warm your mouth, press your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The heat from your tongue will help stop the brain freeze process. You wont generally need to get a pain reliever for a brain freeze headache, as most are short-lived.

Even if you dont try to stop brain freeze, it will usually pass within a few seconds. They may seem like long seconds, but the pain will eventually go away.

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Why Do Brain Freezes Happen

While the pain typically only lasts about 30 seconds, brain freeze is actually a type of headache, believe it or not.

Theories abound as to whats happening during a cold-stimulus headache, which is more colloquially called an ice-cream headache. One of the leading theories surrounding brain freeze involves how your blood vessels and nerves react to rapid shifts in temperature.

When you take a big sip of your slushie, the roof and back of your mouth go from their usual temperatures to ones that are much, much colder. In an effort to warm your mouth back up, your brain sends blood and plenty of it. This rush of blood requires blood vessels in the surrounding area to rapidly expand, which, in turn, initiates signals of pain. But why do you ultimately feel the pain in your forehead and not your mouth?

Its thought that one of the most complex nerves in your brain, the trigeminal nerve, gets triggered during a brain freeze. Among other things, your trigeminal nerve controls sensation in your face. When this nerve is triggered during a brain freeze, a phenomenon called referred pain occurs where the place you feel the pain isnt actually where the pain signal originated. In this case, although its still unclear why, your trigeminal nerve reads the pain as originating from your forehead and temples instead of your mouth.

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Why Do You Get A Brain Freeze In The First Place

Ever wondered why you get it? Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia, the scientific name for the sensation, happens when your blood vessels constrict in reaction to the cold dessert. Your brain is responding to the temperature change by increasing blood flow to the area, which causes the headache-type feeling.

“When the vessels shrink and dilate like that, the nerves next to it try to send signals up to your brain saying the vessels are really dilatingsomething’s happening inside our mouths,” Dr. Jessica Heiring, a headache specialist at the Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. This leads to a “referred pain” in other parts of the face before your brain realizes that the cold is only in your mouth, and not in the rest of your face.

Fortunately, the uncomfortable feeling tends to only last for a few seconds, although it can last for several minutes if you’re unlucky. Want to avoid that pesky ice cream headache in the first place? There are some tips that could help.

Brain Freeze And Migraine Sufferers

Why do You Get a Brain Freeze?

Dr. Serrador explains that we already know that migraine sufferers are more likely to suffer brain freeze after consuming very cold food or drink, compared with people who never have migraines.

He suggests that some of what occurs during brain freeze may be similar to what causes migraines, and possibly other kinds of headaches, including those caused by traumatic brain injuries.

Serrador and team believe that local changes in brain blood flow may be causing other types of headaches. If this can be confirmed in further studies, new medications that prevent or reverse vasodilation may help treat headaches.

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How To Prevent And Treat Brain Freeze

It’s sudden chilling or a cycle of chilling and warming that stimulates the nerve and causes pain, so eating ice cream slowly is less likely to cause brain freeze than wolfing it down. If you are eating or drinking something cold, it also helps to keep your mouth cold rather than allow it to warm up. However, one of the quickest ways to alleviate the pain of brain freeze is to warm your palate with your tongue. Just be sure not to follow that remedy with another scoop of ice cream.

How Is Brain Freeze Different From Other Headaches

Unlike other headaches, a brain freeze comes and goes quickly. It usually lasts only a few seconds to two minutes. It goes away on its own, without medicine or rest.

Other headaches can cause other symptoms. For example, a migraine can make you feel sick to your stomach . Some headaches can make it hard to tolerate bright light or loud noise. A brain freeze does not cause any other symptoms.

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How To Ease Brain Freeze

On a hot summer day, theres nothing like taking a big gulp of ice-cold water or a slushy beverage, or going for a big mouthful of ice cream. Great way to cool down, right?

But then it hits you: a bolt of intense pain in the temples, forehead or behind the eyes or nose.

Brain freeze, otherwise known as ice cream headache, is technically known as cold neuralgia or sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Big words for a short but-agonizing episode.

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Everyones experienced it. You chomp into that huge scoop of ice cream or chug that frozen drink, and all of a sudden it hits you. The extreme stabbing pain in your head that feels like your brain might actually explode. Well, maybe not that bad. But it has been known to cause even the toughest of men to crumble in agony.

So to understand how to stop brain freeze, we first have to know what causes it. Warning here comes the science. When something cold touches the roof of your mouth, your blood vessels contract in order to prevent any loss of body heat. As you swallow your ice cream or finish your Slurpee, the cold recedes and the blood vessels go back to normal, which quickly increases blood flow to your brain. This sudden rush of blood is what causes that terrible, terrible pain.

To stop brain freeze before it starts, you can simply prevent anything cold from contacting the roof of your mouth. This isnt as hard as it sounds. Just let that ice cream warm on your tongue for a few seconds before you swallow. Those few seconds will provide the necessary warmth you need to avoid brain freeze.

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Causes Of Brain Freeze

Scientists arent exactly sure what specifically causes brain freeze. One 2012study tried to figure out the cause by measuring the blood flow and activity in the brain while participants drank ice water.

The researchers theory was that when the brain is cooled rapidly as a result of ingesting extremely cold food or liquids, it changes the blood flow in the brain. The cold is transferred from the roof of your mouth to the nerves of the brain, and this causes some kind of reaction in the brain.

The researchers used a Doppler, which measures blood flow, to look at the blood vessels in the middle and front brain arteries in 13 adults while they drank both ice water and room-temperature water.

The participants drank ice water through a straw placed against the roof of their mouth until they felt a brain freeze. The researchers then measured the brain resistance, heart rate, and blood pressure of these participants before, during, and after the brain freeze.

They found that drinking the ice water increased the blood flow in the front brain arteries, but not the middle blood vessels. The ice water also caused increased resistance in the brain.

With these findings, the researchers concluded that the pain of a brain freeze is actually caused by the increased blood flow and resistance in the brain blood vessels. So if youre experiencing a brain freeze, you might actually be feeling your brains blood vessels reacting to the cold.

What Is A Brain Freeze

‘Sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia!’, have you ever heard someone yelling out this name after sipping a cold drink or gulping a cold beverage or an ice cream? We guess not, but you must have heard someone screaming ‘brain freeze!’. So, what is a brain freeze? What are these headaches caused when you eat ice cream of all things? A brain freeze is a sudden pain or sensation in the brain that gets to its peak within seconds and becomes intolerable.

A brain freeze happens when a frozen beverage comes in contact with the roof of your mouth. Thus, as a result, an unexpected temperature change happens within the mouth, in the tissues stimulating the nerves, resulting in fast dilation causing swelling in the capillaries. This reaction tries to direct blood to the affected area and warm it back again. The headache that follows up begins from the receptors present in your mouth, which signals your brain with the help of the nerves in your face. This ends in causing an immediate, very sharp pain with a typical exclamation that remains similar to this incident. So this is what causes a brain freeze to occur.

A brain freeze, also known as an ice cream headache, can last anywhere between a fraction of seconds to a few minutes. No matter whether its summer, rainy, autumn, or winter, brain freeze can happen to you very frequently because it occurs in response to the food consumed and not to the temperature outside.

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What Is Brain Freeze

Brain freeze is a type of headache triggered by the consumption of very cold foods or drinks.

Its also called a cold headache or an ice cream headache since eating ice cream is a common trigger, but it can even be caused by drinking ice water.

Cold-stimulus headache is a recognized medical condition listed in the most recent edition of The International Classification of Headache Disorders.

Sometimes its called a trigeminal headache referring to the trigeminal nerve, the largest nerve in your brain.

Its scientific name is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia which literally means pain of the nerve located on the roof of your mouth.

A brain freeze headache can be extremely painful, but fortunately is short-lived, usually lasting less than 10 seconds and rarely lasting more than 30 seconds.

How Do You Avoid Brain Freeze

What Causes Brain Freeze?

Dr. Jorge Serrador of Harvard Medical School talked to NBC News about how to avoid brain freeze. And there’s a pretty simple method for getting rid of the painful feeling.

Putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth should do the trick, as it will warm your palate back up. If you can curl your tongue, that’s even better, he told the outlet. So if you can, don’t be afraid to stick the bottom of your tongue to the roof of your mouth.

Another simple trick is to eat or drink cold foods more slowly so that you don’t overwhelm your brain with a sudden temperature change.

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Next time you enjoy an ice-cold drink or a scoop of ice cream, give these tricks a try. You might be able to stop brain freeze in its tracks, so you can go back to enjoying that tasty treat in peace.

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