On a warm summer day, there’s nopoint like taking a large gulp of ice-cold water or a slushy beverage,or going for a big mouthful of ice cream. Great method to cool down, right?
But then it hits you: a bolt of intense pain in the holy places, forehead or behind the eyes or nose.
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Brain freeze, otherwise known asice cream headache, is technically known as cold neuralgia orsphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Big words for a short—but-agonizing—episode.
The Scoop on Ice Cream Headache
What causes ice cream headaches? Nopoint severe, saysWojtek Mydlarz, assistant professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgical procedure at Johns Hopkins. He explains:
“Tbelow are a number of theories around what renders this take place. The one that more than likely provides the many feeling is that when you eat or drink a big quantity of very cold food or liquid, you drop the temperature of the palate (the roof of your mouth) pretty considerably. The blood vessels automatically constrict—it’s a survival reflex to preserve your body’s core temperature.”
After the squeeze, Mydlarz states, the blood vessels open up up — conveniently. “This rebound dilation sends out a pain signal to the brain via a nerve dubbed the trigeminal nerve, whose upper branch extends right into the midchallenge and also forehead,” he says.
Mydlarz claims ice cream headache is an example of “referred pain” — as soon as alters happening in one component of the body signal pain in one more. In this situation, the tiny muscles around the blood vessels in the palate are tightening and relaxing suddenly, yet the sensation is skilled higher up in the head
The Migraine Connection
Research shows migraine sufferers have a higher likelihood of enduring brain freeze. The pain of brain freeze headaches is more intense and also sharp than that of a migraine. Both headaches can occur in the forehead and lead to throbbing pain.
But, thankfully, in 98 percent of patients, brain freeze headaches last much less than 5 minutes.
How to Ease Brain Freeze
If you obtain nailed by brain freeze, act rapid. If feasible, remove the cold food or drink from your mouth, and press your tongue or your thumb against the roof of your mouth. Drinking heat water can aid, also.
Mydlarz (whose favorite ice cream seasonings encompass coffee and also chocolate-cherry) recommends taking smaller bites or sips of cold food and also drink, and warming them up in your mouth prior to swpermitting.
Grabbing an aspirin or acetaminophen might not be worth it. In the majority of people, brain freeze headaches are so brief lived that by the time pain drugs kick in, the headache will certainly more than.
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That is the just excellent thing around brain freeze: its brevity. By the moment you take procedures to counteract the pain, it is most likely to more than and gone, and also you’re back to enjoying your summer day—and through luck, even more ice cream.