Ice cream head, everyone would have experienced it at least once in their life. When you have an ice cream or anything cold you feel an excruciating headache but luckily it doesn’t last for more than 30-60 seconds.
It is also known as brain freeze, or cold stimulus head ache. Its scientific name is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. When something cold touches the upper roof of the mouth known as the palate and the throat, it causes dilation of blood vessels in the head. The dilation may be caused by a nerve center located above the roof of your mouth.
As the cold ice cream moves across the palate of your mouth and down your throat it causes sudden dilation of the blood vessel located in the head. The nerve centre gets cold and over reacts and warms up the brain.
The pain receptors near the brain send the signal to the brain through one of the major facial nerves, the trigeminal nerve that delivers the sensory information from face teeth and tongue to your brain.
This nerve also senses pain the brain interprets this as the pain from the forehead. The pain lasts for 10seconds to 1 minute. The pain hardly ever extends to a few minutes. This ice cream headache occurs only in warm climates or on hot days. It cannot occur in cold climates.
The best way to prevent this is to take in your ice creams and cold beverages slowly so that it warms up before touching the throat. If you swallow your ice cream then be prepared to experience the ice-cream headache.