Ice cream headaches: Causes

image

Ice cream headaches are brief, stabbing headaches that can happen when you eat, drink or inhale something cold. Biting into an ice cream cone is a common trigger, but eating or drinking other frosty items, such as ice pops and slushy frozen drinks, can have the same “brain-freeze” effect.

Officially known as cold stimulus headaches, they can also occur when you suddenly expose your unprotected head to cold temperatures, such as by diving into cold water.

Ice cream headaches are caused either by exposing your head to sudden, extreme cold or by having something cold move across the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat, such as when you eat ice cream quickly or gulp a cold drink.