Previously used terms:

Ice-cream headache; brain-freeze headache.


Short-lasting frontal or temporal pain, which may be intense, induced in susceptible people by passage of cold material (solid, liquid or gaseous) over the palate and/or posterior pharyngeal wall.

Diagnostic criteria:
  1. At least two episodes of acute frontal or temporal headache fulfilling criteria B and C
  2. Brought on by and occurring immediately after a cold stimulus to the palate and/or posterior pharyngeal wall from ingestion of cold food or drink or inhalation of cold air
  3. Resolving within 10 minutes after removal of the cold stimulus
  4. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

4.5.2 Headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of a cold stimulus is common in the general population, especially among those with 1. Migraine. Rapid ingestion of crushed ice slurry is particularly likely to provoke this headache, but eating ice-cream even slowly can do so.

Headache is frontal or temporal, and most commonly bilateral (but may be lateralized to the side of usual migraine headache in those who have unilateral headache as part of 1. Migraine).