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The Fascinating Phenomenon Of Brain Freeze

Aug 23, 2021
By
Cardiologist, Gracie Square Hospital

Summer is all about ice cream and ice-cold drinks. It is so hot outside that you just cannot control the urge of having something extremely cold. But whenever you drink that icy beverage or you eat a scoop of ice cream too fast, a brain freeze reminds you that you are better off enjoying your guilty summer pleasures slowly.

Summertime Headache!

But what is a brain freeze exactly? How can you make it go away fast so you can keep on gulping down your cold beverage or chomping on decadent ice cream? And is brain freeze at all dangerous? These are some of the questions we tend to ask ourselves more frequently during the summer.

We put together some interesting answers for you so you can gain a different perspective on brain freeze.

What is Brain Freeze?

A brain freeze is basically a headache. It is as acute and weird, as it is harmless. You might have also noticed that a brain freeze disappears quickly.

But, how do brain freezes happen, and why are they gone so fast? This is what we know about this fleeting headache you get when you eat your ice cream too fast:

·        Your Trigeminal Nerve triggers a brain freeze

·        This happens when the temperature on the roof of your mouth drops too much

·        Vessels constrict, and the nerve activates your brain, telling it to bring the temperature back up again

·        A sudden flood of warmblood flows into the constricted vessels, causing a painful bottle neck effect

That warm blood flowing all at once into a constricted blood vessel causes pain. At least that is what scientists believe.

How can you Make Brain Freeze go Away Fast?

Therefore, if you want to avoid the pain or at least shorten the amount of time you have to suffer through it before you eat your next spoonful of ice cream, you must warm the roof of your mouth up as quickly as possible.

There are a couple of techniques you can use to warm up the constricted vessels and get rid of brain freeze quicker:

·        Close your mouth and stick your tongue to the roof of your mouth – If your tongue is actually warmer at that point

·        Stick your thumb to the roof of your mouth

·        Drink a warm beverage – Try that as you bake under that scorching summer heat!

·        Breathing warm air through your nose will also help you get rid of brain freeze, but you knew that already!

Is Brain Freeze Dangerous?

Whether you use one of the techniques above or you allow your brain freeze to pass, you have nothing to worry about besides the discomfort. A brain freeze is not dangerous at all. In fact, researchers use this phenomenon in the lab to test new medicine and treatments for ailments such as migraine.

Those cruel mad scientists will stop at nothing to cure more severe ailments or diseases. They will even give you as much ice cream as you can eat until they effectively induce a brain freeze to better understand how to deal with headaches!

Some People do not Get Brain Freeze!

Even when mad scientists can induce a headache to study it thanks to brain freeze, this does not work on every test subject. Believe it or not, there are some people who do not get brain freeze, no matter how quickly they drink their icy beverage or how fast they eat their gelato.

The explanation seems to be that some people’s nerves are not as sensitive as others. The opposite is also true: some people have overly sensitive nerves, and the ease with which they get a brain freeze makes them more likely to suffer from migraine.

If you are Experiencing Brain Freeze, do not Call your Doctor!

Now that you know everything you need to about brain freezes, you might be relieved to know that if you experience one you do not have to call your doctor. There is nothing your doctor can do for you other than recommend you eat and drink slowly if you want to avoid a brain freeze in the future.

 

 

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