What Causes Brain Freeze?

Life is full of everyday mysteries.  Like why do you get a headache when you quickly eat something cold?

Popularly called “brain freeze”, this condition is found in the International Classifications of Headache Disorders as an official type of headache.  The key is introduction of any cold substance (think ice cream) behind the nose and palate.  This triggers a bundle of nerves in the roof of your mouth to send a message to the brain, which causes blood vessels to react.  This reaction causes the headache.

Fortunately, the reaction is harmless, although people who suffer from migraines tend to be more susceptible to brain freeze because the same nerves are responsible for triggering both types of head pain.

Is there a prevention?  Assuming giving up cold treats like ice cream isn’t an option, try to remember to eat them slowly.   Or try eating cold foods in the front of your mouth, away from those sensitive nerves farther back.  Or you might even try heating cold foods a bit (but who likes soupy ice cream?).  If none of these work and you still get that pesky headache, slowly drink some warm water.  If that isn’t practical, you can always try putting your tongue or the tip of your finger against the roof of your mouth, which should provide some warmth.  It’s not exactly scientific, but it’s worth a try.

For more information, visit  http://time.com/4856808/what-is-brain-freeze/?xid=newsletter-brief.

 

 

 

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