On a warm summer day, there’s nothing favor taking a large gulp the ice-cold water or a slushy beverage,or going for a huge mouthful of ice cream cream. An excellent way to cool down, right?

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

You are watching: How do you get rid of brain freeze


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Brain freeze, otherwise known asice cream headache, is technically well-known as cold neuralgia orsphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Big words because that a short—but-agonizing—episode.


The Scoop on ice Cream Headache

What causes ice cream headaches? nothing serious, saysWojtek Mydlarz, assistant professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgical treatment at Johns Hopkins. He explains:

“There are several theories around what renders this happen. The one that probably makes the most sense is that once you eat or drink a huge quantity of very cold food or liquid, friend drop the temperature that the palate (the roof of her mouth) nice substantially. The blood vessels immediately constrict—it’s a survival reflex to preserve your body’s core temperature.”

After the squeeze, Mydlarz says, the blood vessels open up up — quickly. “This rebound dilation sends a pain signal come the mind through a nerve referred to as the trigeminal nerve, whose upper branch extends right into the midface and forehead,” the says.

Mydlarz says ice cream headache is an instance of “referred pain” — when transforms happening in one component of the body signal pains in another. In this case, the tiny muscles roughly the blood vessels in the palate room tightening and relaxing suddenly, but the sensation is experienced higher up in the head


The Migraine Connection

Research reflects migraine sufferers have actually a higher likelihood the experiencing brain freeze. The pains of mind freeze headaches is an ext intense and sharp than that the a migraine. Both headaches can happen in the forehead and result in throbbing pain.

But, thankfully, in 98 percent the patients, brain freeze headaches last less than five minutes.


How come Ease mind Freeze

If you obtain nailed by brain freeze, plot fast. If possible, eliminate the cold food or drink from her mouth, and press her tongue or your thumb versus the roof of her mouth. Drinking warm water can help, too.

Mydlarz (whose favorite ice cream cream flavors include coffee and also chocolate-cherry) recommends taking smaller bites or sips of cold food and drink, and also warming them increase in her mouth before swallowing.

Grabbing an aspirin or acetaminophen may not be worth it. In the majority of people, mind freeze headaches space so short lived that by the moment pain medications kick in, the headache will certainly be over.

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That is the only good thing about mind freeze: that brevity. By the moment you take actions to counteract the pain, the is likely to it is in over and also gone, and also you’re earlier to enjoying her summer day—and with luck, more ice cream.