Brain Freeze | Ice Cream Headache - Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Smitha S. Dutt
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on May 25, 2015
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult in case of brain freeze?

Individuals do not generally consult a doctor for brain freeze since the pain does not last for more than a minute. A primary physician will diagnose the condition as brain freeze when informed of the symptoms.

2. Does an individual experience brain freeze in winter?

Individuals are less likely to be subjected to brain freeze when consuming cold foods in winter due to the reduced temperature difference between the cold food and the surrounding temperature. However, a study by Maya Kaczorowski found that individuals can experience ice cream headaches even when eating ice cream slowly in the winter. This is in contrast to the results obtained from previous studies.

References:

1. Headache classification committee of the International Headache Society (IHS). The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version). Cephalalgia. 2013;33(9):629-808.

2. Hulihan J. Ice cream headache: No need for abstinence. BMJ. 1997;314:1364.

3. Bird N, MacGregor EA, Wilkinson MI. Ice cream headache-site, duration, and relationship to migraine. Headache. 1992;32(1):35-38.

4. Fuh JL et al. Ice-cream headache – a large survey of 8359 adolescents. Cephalalgia. 2003;23(10):977-981.

5. Seklekler HM, Erdogan MS, Budak F. Prevalence and clinical characteristics of an experimental model of ‘ice-cream headache’ in migraine and episodic tension-type headache patients. Cephalalgia. 2004;24(4):293-297.

6. Seklekler HM, Budak F. Idiopathic stabbing headache and experimental ice cream headache (short-lived headaches). Eur Neurol. 2004;51(1):6-9.

7. Sleigh JW. Letter to the editor – Cerebral vasoconstriction causing decrease in arterial flow may have role. BMJ. 1997;315:609.

8. Harries M. Letter to the editor – Ice cream headache occurred during surfing in winter. BMJ. 1997;315:609.

9. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/headache/conditions/ice_cream_headache.html

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