Call it brain freeze or an “ice cream headache” but chances are you’ve experienced the weird pain that comes from eating a cold treat too fast. So what exactly is taking place when that happens?
🧊 The medical term for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
🥶 Basically what’s happening is the icy cold temp of the thing you ate or drank causes the blood vessels in the palate of your mouth to constrict.
❄️ Then, very quickly, the same vessels dilate and blood rushes in to warm them back up.
🧊 This sudden opening of the vessels is transmitted to your brain as pain through the trigeminal nerve, which runs into the middle of your face and up your forehead.
🥶 To help avoid this, pace yourself with icy things and try to avoid sudden extreme shifts and abundances of temperature shifts.
❄️ To help remedy brain freeze pain if it’s happening, press your tongue or your thumb up on the roof of your mouth.
🧊 You can also drink a glass of room-temperature water to help alleviate the pain.
🥶 Either works as a way to bring warmer temperatures back to your palate.