We’ve all been there – after sipping a deliciously cold drink or taking a bite of an ice cream, our heads start to feel a little funny and freezy.

But do you know the science behind “brain freezes”?

The International Headache Society has given a bit of insight into the common affliction, which is scientifically known as sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (that’s a mouthful!).

Brain freezes are basically headaches that result from “ingestion or inhalation of a cold stimulus”, when cold liquids or solids pass over the upper palate of the mouth of back wall of the pharynx too quickly.

Some doctors have hypothesised that it’s also got something to do with a rapid increase in cold blood flow through the brain.

So, how to make it stop?


It might sound obvious, but one of the best ways is to stop drinking or eating the icy thing you’re drinking or eating.

You can also jam your tongue to the roof of your mouth to warm the blood passing through, or drink warm water to increase the temperature in your mouth.

Another suggestion is to drink or eat small amounts of cold drinks or ice cream, giving time in between each mouthful for your throat to warm up again.

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