What About Ice Cream Headache?
by arie.morin on September 24, 2015 - 9:35pm
You’ve probably already had a ‘’brain freeze’’ while you were eating ice cream. This unpleasant headache is discussed in the medical literature since at least the 1850’s, but the International Headache Society has only recognized it in 1988 under the name of ‘’cold stimulus headache’’.
By the International Classification of Headache Disorders, the “Ice Cream Headache” causes pain that starts when you apply a cold stimulus either to the head or mouth. Also, the pain will ease away shortly after the cold stimulus ends.
The “Ice Cream Headache” appears the majority of time behind the forehead. Other common locations are close to the ears or behind the eyes. Despite is location, this type of headache is almost always pointed (?)(sharp), intense and lasts for a short period of time.
When an “Ice Cream Headache” occurs on your forehead, your blood vessels contract so the blood passes with more difficulty. Your body reacts by sending warm blood to the brain in order to this reaction.
The connection between the “Ice Cream Headache” and the migraines is interesting, but not entirely understood by scientists. The neurologist Peter Mattson of Sweden’s University Hospital conducted a study that found that “women who had experienced at least one migraine within the previous year were twice as likely to develop a headache from cold water as those who were migraine-free’’. Other studies conducted by researchers prove that migraines and ice cream headache may be connected
Eating your ice cream at a fast pace is also one way to get brain freeze more easily. By looking at the research of a McMaster university physician, we can conclude that the “rapid passage of cold stimuli over the palate that makes such headaches more likely’’.
However, the cold stimulus over the palate is not the only way to get brain freeze. The British Olympic Medical Centre physician Mark Harries ‘’know about the sickening frontal headache that resulted within seconds of diving through a breaking wave’’ when you surf in the winter.