Medical Definition of Brain freeze

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

Brain freeze: A headache that occurs when one puts ice, a cold food, or a chilled beverage in the mouth, chilling the roof of the mouth. Ice cream is by far the most frequent offender. Brain freeze is characterized by a stabbing, aching pain that begins a few seconds after ingestion of something cold. The pain peaks in 30 to 60 seconds. No treatment is required. Also known as an ice cream headache.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018