Can You Die From Brain Freeze: Is it True? (EXPLAINED)

After eating something cold, many people get a sudden, terrible headache that goes away quickly. Brain freeze, also called an “ice cream headache,” is a severe headache when you eat or drink something cold. Is it synonymous with something serious? 

In this article, we’ll answer the question, Can you die from brain freeze?” We will explain what this strange phenomenon consists of and how and why it occurs. So Let’s Start…

What Exactly Is A Brain Freeze?

It’s also called an ice cream headache or a cold-stimulus headache. The best way to describe a brain freeze is as a short-term headache. This headache is often caused by eating cold or frozen foods too quickly. These are things like ice cream and sweets, which are common snacks. Most of the time, we can’t wait to eat our favorite chocolate ice creams. So we always start eating it right away. It causes a brain freeze.

The hard thing hitting the roof of the mouth causes headaches or pain. This part is also called the palate. Physiologists think this cold feeling in the mouth sets off the attack. When the body feels cold, it reacts. It does this by making the blood arteries narrow and widen. It makes the pain feel like it’s coming from the roof of the mouth up to the head. A brain freeze is not the same as tooth pain. Because a “brain freeze” is not a tooth problem.

The blood arteries in the sinuses quickly cool down and warm up. It makes the blood vessels narrow and then widen. Sinuses are structures inside the head that look like holes. On the roof of the mouth, nerve ends that can feel pain start to work. These receptors tell the brain what to do. The way the brain sees it, it feels like pain. Because of this pain, you often cry or are in a lot of pain. The trigeminal nerve is the nerve that sends the message to the brain. One of the most important muscles in the face is this one. The same nerve picks up on all types of pain in the face.

A brain freeze can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. One of the reasons given above is that. There is also a different idea about what causes a brain freeze. It is the idea of the front of the brain. The name of this idea comes from the bloodstream.

In this case, it is the one that brings oxygenated blood to the brain. The idea behind this theory is that the amount of blood goes up. The front cerebral artery takes this rise to the brain. It is what makes the pain feel like it hurts. It is a way for the brain to protect itself. It reacts to how quickly the blood vessel gets smaller and bigger. Can You Die Brain Freeze

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Can you die from a brain freeze?

You can’t die from a brain freeze, but it can temporarily stop you from moving.

On a hot summer day, you might be enjoying some delicious ice cream when you get a very painful headache between your eyebrows, in your forehead, at your temples, or even inside your nose.

It’s not dangerous and usually doesn’t last more than 5 minutes, but it’s a very uncomfortable feeling that happens to many people, especially when they eat very cold food quickly. People call it an “ice cream headache.”

This condition also called an “ice cream headache” or a “cold stimulus headache,” is not a health problem, but since the middle of the 20th century, scientists have been trying to figure out where it comes from.

Some experts call frozen brain sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia a more scientific name for the reaction caused by a sudden cold in the upper palate.

In any case, it is a severe but short and harmless headache not caused by any disease or neurological problem and could be very anecdotal if science didn’t pay attention to it.

The International Headache Society (IHS) already defined it in its 2018 International Headache Classification as “a temporary or frontal pain of a short duration that can be intense, caused by the passage of cold material (solid, liquid, or gas) through the palate and the posterior pharyngeal wall in people who are sensitive to it.”

In 1988, this research group first agreed that a “cold stimulus headache” was real.

It is believed that this pain, which affects one in three people in the world at some point in their lives, is caused by the rapid narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the palate with blood when it is exposed to something very cold, followed by the widening of the blood vessels when warm blood is sent to the brain right away.

This sudden change causes unexpected pain, so we can say that the sweet taste of ice cream and the bitter taste of an unexplained painful disorder is focused on the palate.

What causes brain freeze?

When your mouth or throat suddenly feels very cold, your body tries to act and warm up. The blood vessels in the head expand to let more blood into the area to keep it warm. This rapid change in the size of the blood vessels causes sudden pain.

How Come One Cannot Die From A Brain Freeze?

A full explanation of how brain freezes happen is above. The second thing is that you can’t die if you eat a bite of your avocado-flavored ice cream.

It is impossible to die from a brain freeze. It is because the body has a set of defense systems that it uses to keep itself safe. The body reacts when the temperature drops, like when ice cream touches the roof of the mouth.

In that area, the body temperature goes up almost right away. Almost right away, the blood arteries warm up. But the body does more than keep itself at the right temperature. These things ensure that eating ice cream or a treat is not like killing yourself.

The nervous system also gets involved when it senses that the body is about to overdrive. If the brain feels danger, it can stop the whole body from working. It won’t last. It is called syncope in the medical world, but you and I know it as passing out.

When people pass out, their body has time to heal as their temperature evens. These ways that the body protects itself are helpful. They are the main reasons why a brain freeze will never kill you.

But when you have a brain freeze, you feel like you will die. But the truth is that you won’t. So you can enjoy that ice cream without any fears. You could think of the brain freeze as the cost of eating your favorite snack.

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How is brain freeze different from other headaches?

Unlike other headaches, a brain freeze comes on and goes quickly. Most of the time, it lasts between a few seconds and two minutes. Without medicines or rest, it goes away on its own.

Other headaches can cause different symptoms. For example, if you have a migraine, you might feel sick to your stomach. When you have a headache, handling bright light or loud noise can be hard. There are no other signs of a brain freeze.

Can Brain Freeze Occur Without Eating Something Cold?

Yes, it is possible to experience a brain freeze even if you don’t eat anything cold. A brain freeze, also called sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia, is a type of headache that happens when the temperature in the head changes quickly. It usually happens when you eat or drink something cool. But other things can cause these headaches, like medical conditions or habits.

Some medical situations, like cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, and occipital neuralgia, can cause brain freeze even if you don’t eat or drink anything cold. These headaches usually hurt badly on one side of the head and can last a few minutes to a few hours. Some people may also get a “brain freeze” after physical activities like running or hard exercise. It is called an “exercise-induced headache,” and it’s thought to be caused by more physical action causing less blood to flow to the brain.

If you don’t want to eat something cold, the best way to treat a brain freeze is to figure out what’s causing the headache and treat that. If you get this type of headache often, you should see a doctor to learn more about the reason and possible treatments.

Who is at risk for getting ice cream headaches?

A brain freeze can happen to anyone. Children may get brain freeze more often because they haven’t slowly learned to eat something fun like an ice pop.

Some research has shown that people who get migraine headaches are more likely to have sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia.

What can I do to make a brain freeze go away?

If you experience an ice cream headache, try to bring your mouth and throat back to normal temperature:

Stop eating or drinking the cold thing, or get out of the cold.
Drink something warm or at room temperature, not something cold or hot.
Warmth can be transferred by pressing your tongue or hand against the roof of your mouth.

Effects of Brain Freezes on Brain Health

No, brain freezes do not cause brain damage. Brain freezes happen when you quickly eat or drink something cold. It causes the blood vessels in your brain to close up all at once. People often call this an “ice-cream headache” or a “brain freeze” because it gives them a sharp pain in the head. Even though it may hurt, this feeling does not cause any damage to the brain that will last or get worse over time.

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Pain of a Brain Freeze

Headaches from a brain freeze can be very painful. Most of the time, the pain comes on quickly and is very bad. It is often described as a sharp, burning feeling on the forehead. It can make some people feel bad or even sick. Luckily, the pain usually goes away in five minutes and rarely lasts longer.

Interesting Things About Brain Freeze

  • Even though the term “brain freeze” is often used about people, it is not only people who can get it. Other animals also feel the same way.
  • The idea of an “ice cream headache” has been around since the late 1930s, which you might find interesting. So, it’s not like this is a brand-new idea.
  • You can avoid a brain freeze by not being in a hurry when you eat ice cream or any other cold or frozen treat. By eating it this way, your body has time to adjust to the change in temperature. There is something else you can do to stop it. It would help if you breathed through your nose, which will help raise the warmth in your mouth. You can also put your tongue on the roof of your mouth or drink something warm.
  • There is a name for brain freeze in medicine. In the medical world, it has a name. It is called sphenopalatine ganglion neuralgia in the medical world. The fact that it is a lot to say shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s how things work in the medical field. The name was made up to describe the shape of the face and head. These structures are an important part of how a brain freeze works.
  • Something interesting has come out of the research. Brain freezes are more likely to happen to people who have headaches. So, if you are in this group, watch how you bite into frozen foods.
  • Scientists have concluded that a brain freeze is just a type of headache. But this type of headache comes on very quickly and goes away quickly.
  • Even though it’s called a “brain freeze,” your brain tissue doesn’t freeze. The brain is not cold at all, even if you eat the world’s coldest ice cream or milkshake. The brain cannot feel pain on its own. Sensors pick up the feeling of pain, and the brain then determines what it means. The quick temperature change is what gives the person a headache. People feel as if their brain is frozen, which is where the term “brain freeze” comes from.


In conclusion, brain freezes can be painful, but they do not cause serious damage and generally only last a few minutes. Even if you stay away from very cold foods and drinks, getting an ice cream headache is still possible. When you have a brain freeze, the pain is more severe and sharp than a migraine. But most of the time, the pain goes away within five minutes. Valerjan Romanovski set a Guinness World Record for the longest time a person’s whole body was in touch with ice. It
showed how well our bodies can handle extreme cold.

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