Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

What is Ice Cream Headache?

Ice Cream Headaches is the term given to an acute sharp headache which sometimes comes when an individual has an extremely cold food item like a cool drink or an ice cream. These headaches are generally caused when the cold item moves across the roof of the mouth and the back of the throat.

Researchers are still not exactly sure of the mechanism for these types of headaches but some studies suggest that the cold beverage alters the blood supply to the nervous system temporarily resulting in a brief sudden headache.

Due to the sudden low temperature, the blood vessels constrict so as to prevent loss of heat from the body and then relax again to let the blood flow rise again resulting in a sudden sharp pain in the head which quickly resolves once the body adapts to the sudden temperature change causing Ice Cream Headaches.

What are the Causes of Ice Cream Headache?

What are the Causes of Ice Cream Headache?

As stated above, there is no known cause for Ice Cream Headaches but some studies suggest that there is temporary alteration of blood flow to the nervous system which causes Ice Cream Headaches.

Another theory suggests that as soon as something extremely cold beverage is gulped or something very cold is eaten there is a sudden drop in temperature causing the blood vessels to constrict to prevent loss of heat.

As the body adapts to the cold temperature the vessels get back to normal and the blood flow resumes normally giving the individual instant relief from the Ice Cream Headaches.

What are the Symptoms of Ice Cream Headache?

Some of the symptoms of Ice Cream Headaches are:

  • Severe Sharp and stabbing pain usually in the forehead area is a common symptom of ice cream headache
  • Pain associated with ice cream headache usually peaks within a minute of it starting and starts to fade away in another couple of minutes
  • Ice Cream Headache pain does not last for more than five minutes at a time.

How is Ice Cream Headache Treated?

Since Ice Cream Headaches goes away on its own within a span of five minutes, there is no treatment required to treat such a condition. However, if an individual gets Ice Cream Headaches frequently whenever he or she drink a cold drink or have an ice cream then it is recommended to avoid frequent consumption of ice creams and avoid drinking chilled drinks like a beer or a cold drink and allow it to warm a little and then drink it to prevent Ice Cream Headaches.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: November 1, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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