• Question: What is "Brain Freeze"

    Asked by Jasmine Y to Anna, Hayley, Iain, Rebecca, Sascha on 22 Jun 2015. This question was also asked by 679yttc22.
    • Photo: Hayley Clissold

      Hayley Clissold answered on 22 Jun 2015:

      Great question! The scientific term for “Brain Freeze” is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia…..but “Brain Freeze” is a bit easier to say! Brain freeze is a type of headache and is basically your bodies way of telling you to stop eating ice cream (or whatever cold thing you’re eating!) and to take it easy.

      When we eat ice cream too quickly, the temperature in the back of our throat changes rapidly. Arteries that feed blood to the brain are also affected by this temperature change. Although our brain cannot feel pain, receptors around the brain where these arteries meet can sense the change in temperature. When the cold hits, the arteries dilate and contract, causing a sensation that the brain interprets as pain. This gives us “Brain Freeze” and signals for us to take it easy on the ice cream!