August 29, 2019
Given ice cream season is fully upon us, it seems appropriate to reflect on the experience of the 'brain freeze'. Despite what it feels like, the pain you experience after eating ice cream too quickly cannot be in your brain (because the brain has no pain receptors). And here's the cool part (with that pun fully intended), no one really knows what causes it. Sphenopalatine Ganglioneuralgia, to give brain freeze its technical name, may be related to increased blood flow to the brain due to the dilation of key arteries, or it may be related to decreased blood flow due to the cold creating spasms that constrict the same arteries. To avoid getting it in the first place, slow down when you eat your ice cream, and especially during that initial bite or lick, to prevent the nerves in your palate being overwhelmed with the cold sensation.