Headache Types

Headache Types

Cold-stimulus Headache

Medically reviewed by Dr. Emma Foster, 17 May 2021

Cold-stimulus headache occurs when the head is either exposed to very cold temperatures, or when something cold is ingested. An external cold stimulus headache may occur when diving into very cold water for example. It generally causes an intense, stabbing headache located in the middle of the forehead (although the pain can vary in location). Pain typically fades within 30 minutes of the cold stimulus being removed from the head. A headache due to ingesting something cold (“brain freeze”, medical term “sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia”) can cause significant frontal or temporal pain, but will fade faster, normally resolving after 10 minutes.

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