6 Super Easy Ways To Stop Brain Freeze—All Summer Long

When it’s hot, hot, hot, we’re all desperately searching for the best way to cool down—and fast! So, what’s your go-to option? Maybe it’s taking a dip in the pool. Or pouring a big glass of sweet tea and sitting in the shade. But what day is complete without a double scoop of cookies ‘n’ cream or a scoop of salted caramel in a cone? After all, ice cream just fits with summer—like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, and maple syrup and pancakes.


However, as every experienced ice-cream eater knows, eating this tasty summer treat too fast can come back to bite you. When you experience brain freeze (aka: an ice cream headache), the sharp pain is enough to make you want to toss the rest of that rocky road (say it isn’t so!). Now you’re probably wondering what’s causing this annoying pain? After all, ice cream isn’t thatcoldis it?

What is brain freeze?

When you eat or drink something cold—a slushy, snow cone, milkshake…etc.—the roof of your mouth responds to the rapid loss of heat by sending a message to your brain. As a result, the blood vessels in your forehead start to widen, increasing blood flow. The nerves surrounding these blood vessels start to ache in response to the increased pressure. So no, your brain isn’t actually freezing.

How can you pump the breaks on brain freeze?

We get it, sometimes that strawberries ‘n’ cream milkshake is just too good to sip, so inevitably you get a brain freeze. Heck, nearly all of us will experience one at some point this summer. Here’s what you can do to get relief fast (and get back to devouring your cool treat):

·         Fold your tongue over and press it to the roof of your mouth (the bottom side of your tongue will help to warm up your palette)

·         Blow air onto your hands (the warm air as you exhale will help to warm up the roof of your mouth)

·         Reach for water, or another beverage that isn’t too cold, as this will help to warm up your palette

·         Tilt your head backwards for 10 seconds or more

To prevent brain freeze…

·         Eat slowly at first, to give the nerves in your mouth a chance to adjust to the cold temperature (and the deliciousness). After the first few bites, you can try eating faster

·         Take a break before you swallow (holding your frosty treat in your mouth before swallowing can help to minimize brain freeze) Who knew?

·         You can also try to keep cold foods towards the front of your mouth before swallowing as the nerve endings towards the back of your mouth are the sensitive ones

Get the scoop on headaches.

While a brain freeze can put a damper on enjoying summertime treats, the pain and discomfort is only temporary. Whereas frequent tension headaches, migraines and sinus headaches may not be. To help you better understand your unique condition, Gwinnett Medical Group Primary Care offers an extensive range of diagnostic services, treatments and resources. With GMG’s knowledgeable and personable experts, your care will always be our top priority. 

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