Important Facts About Ice Cream Headache

Ice cream headache (medically or officially known as “cold stimulus headache”) is a brief and stabbing type of headache which may occur after eating or drinking or inhaling cold things. This type of headache commonly occurs after eating ice cream, hence the name. However, ice cream headache may occur after eating or drinking any cold items, not only ice cream. Ice cream headache can also occur after diving into cold water from hot atmosphere. There is nothing to worry about ice cream headache, because the way it comes, it also goes away rapidly without any medication.

What are the symptoms of ice cream headache?

Symptoms include:

  • Sharp and stabbing pain that usually occur in forehead.
  • Pain (headache) appears and peaks in less than a minute and also disappears in less than a minute after peaking. Rarely, if ever headache lasts for more than five minutes.

What causes ice cream headache?

When you eat ice cream quickly or gulp a cold drink rapidly the cold thing moves across the warm roof of your mouth and the back of your throat, which lead to pain in forehead. However, the mechanism of how the pain is produced is still not understood correctly. If you are prone to develop migraine headache, you may be at risk of ice cream headache or severe type of ice cream headache.

One theory of ice cream headache is that the cold food or drink may alter blood flow, in brain and head and neck area. Once you eat or drink cold thing blood vessels constrict to conserve body heat and then relax again after finishing eating drinking cold thing which let blood flow to increase. This may be the cause of a burst of pain that subsides once the blood flow is restored to normal.

What is the treatment of ice cream headache?

As majority of patients suffer from headache for only brief period of less than 2 minutes (rarely more than 5 minutes) usually no treatment is required for ice cream headache.

How to prevent ice cream headache?

Eating or drinking cold things slowly may prevent attacks of ice cream headache. Not to mention, the best way to prevent ice cream headache is to avoid eating or drinking cold things (including ice cream).




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