What Really Happens During A Brain Freeze


– [Narrator] Ugh, brain freeze. It’s awful, that sharp,
searing pain in your forehead. But you know what’s even worse? Not everyone gets it. That’s right, some people can suck down as many milkshakes as they
want and never feel a thing. Life is so unfair. And you know what else? These lucky people are
ruining it for scientists too. Brain freeze is one of
those scientific mysteries that’s been around since the 1800s. Just throw it in there
with UFOs and crop circles. We may never know the
real reason behind them. Ah, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but here’s the thing, the leading theories for
what causes a brain freeze have to do with a physical response that everyone should feel. The way scientists think it works is this: Brain freeze happens when something cold hits the roof of your mouth where it triggers your trigeminal nerve. It’s the nerve in charge
of the sensations you feel around the front of your head. That’s why when you freeze
it to sub-zero temperatures, the pain is around the
temple and the forehead. In fact, different nerves cause pain in different
parts of your head. A toothache, for example, can
irritate the mandibular nerve causing pain near the central skull. But, when it comes to brain
freeze, the source of the pain is different from most other headaches. Turns out it’s similar to
why your feet and hands sting when they get too cold. Your body floods that area with blood to try and return it to body temperature and in the process your
blood vessels expand, which causes that throbbing pain. Similarly, during a brain freeze, blood vessels in your brain widen sending a rush of blood
to the roof of your mouth and, in the process, causing pain. Now, the trigeminal nerve is
a natural part of the body, so if it’s the real cause of brain freeze then that means everyone should get it. So why do scientists estimate that only 37% of Americans,
actually, feel it. And, for that matter,
41% of children in Taiwan and 15% of the adults in Denmark, according to another study. Researchers can only speculate. Maybe the trigeminal
nerve is less sensitive in certain demographics. One thing that does seem to be clear is that people who do
experience brain freeze may also be more susceptible to another kind of mysterious
headache, migraines. In one small study, 93%
of migraine patients were also prone to brain freeze, which has led researchers to suspect that the trigeminal nerve also plays a key role in migraines. Whatever the reason, just hang in there. Brain freezes, usually,
only last 20 or 30 seconds. You could take those seconds to remember not to slurp
so quickly next time. What else do you want to
know about the human body? Let us know in the comments
and thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “What Really Happens During A Brain Freeze

  1. I only felt brain freezes when I was little but now when I drick a slush I dont even feel one! NOT EVEN ONE! 🤭😖🤗

  2. I suffer from migraines (at least once a week) and I have awful brain freeze. I think it’s genetics because migraines are genetic ( some of my family members had to have surgeries because their migraines would NEVER go away).If migraines are linked to brain freeze I thinks getting the sensation is genetic.

  3. i can not get a brain freeze. like i feel like i know how it feels like but i cant get it no matter how much ice cream or frozen flavored ice i will drink or eat

  4. Brain freeze hurts the most in my eye. Idk why. Also I only have brain freeze once or twice, or even sometimes not at all when I eat ice cream.

  5. I had braces in my 20's and found out afterward that with the upper retainer, I never got brain freeze. My retainer had thick plastic that insulated the roof of my mouth. I loved it. Yesterday I decided to have a frozen margarita & fashioned my own 'retainer' out of moldable plastic. I messed up a bit and only covered half the roof of my mouth. Turns out for some reason this time it made the brain freeze worse and I actually passed out. It could not be alcohol because it happened only 3 sips in. I took the faux retainer out and was ok afterwards. I had no idea that could happen. Maybe the retainer caused the cold to not dissipate as quickly and actually retained the cold, worsening the brain freeze? Weird stuff.

  6. I used to feel brain freeze as a kid but as I turned teen it kind of disappeared. Chugging down cold drinks and Ice cream are much more enjoyable now!

  7. I barely drink any water just so I can have as many tubs of ice cream without having brain freeze

  8. I like how people are saying they never get brain freezes but here they are watching a what causes brain freeze video

  9. There's a type of nerve sensitivity in the mouth that relates to how much xray guards make you gag. Maybe this has something to do with them? Since some people don't have these gag nerves at all

  10. I get throat freeze. But when i am going to eat ice or ICE cream my teeth are like:- shit! Thats cold.) But my warm brain is like:- do it! Just do it! It taste very good.

  11. My sister never gets it, made her drink a entire slushy crazy fast, she only has to stop for a second cuz it was super cold on her throat lol. But the weird thing after watching this video is that she gets headaches all the time and what not, i have only ever gotten headaches while sick.

  12. Never felt a brain freeze, and oh boi i don't want to, i eat and drink a lot of cold stuff

  13. I’ve never gotten a brainfreeze before and I thought I was weird cause everybody else complained about it but maybe I am weird cause I have tics (minor) aswell lol

  14. Ok I'm going to explain it… first you have to take into account that when you swallow sometimes it doesn't go all the way down but gets lodged just after you swallow and fills just at the base of your throat and can be regurgitated. Some may recall and experience how you can bring this up when eating something cold like ice cream and it's still quite Frozen. When this builds up with an ice-cold substance it freezes the nerves that run up into the back of the head and give you brain freeze. I suspect there's a medical term used when referring to the nerves when affected by Ice or the contraction of blood vessels.

  15. At the 1:20 minute Mark you see the yellow nerve that comes from the back of the throat up into the back of the head that is what is Frozen when the Frozen substance gets lodged right at or around that area. See my other comment!

  16. At the 1:40 minute mark it's not that the blood is flooded into but it's caused from the tips of your fingers being so cold it restricts the blood flow and the constant pressure behind those fingers is what gives you the pain. It's not the kidney stone that gives you the pain, it's the kidney stone blocking the fluid which causes the tube coming from the kidney, I hope you like my medical terms, to fill up and that expansion is what gives you the pain. I'll keep watching and make sure you read my other comments!

  17. This channel might as well expand on the theories that are out there about space, because they're all based upon pseudoscience also! Because most scientists couldn't hold down a managerial position at a 7-Eleven!

  18. Omw this blew my mind because between myself and my sibling, I am the only one that gets brain freeze. My mother gets it as well, and both myself and my mother suffer fro terrible migraines. This helped make so much sense of things

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