Lightning Can Cause Headaches and Migraine

Posted by on Jan. 31, 2013

When health experts say that weather can trigger headaches and migraine, they’re not only pertaining to the scorching heat of the sun or the freezing breeze of winter. In a recent study conducted by Dr. Vincent Martin and his fourth-year medical student son, Geoffrey Martin at the University of Cincinnati, it was found that even lightning can also cause headaches and migraine, especially among chronic sufferers.

Subjects of the research were tasked to keep a headache diary for three to six months. Along with this, the occurrence, magnitude, and polarity of the lightning which struck within 25 miles of the participants’ homes were also recorded for reference purposes. Results of the study showed that chronic headache and migraine sufferers both had increased risks of headache and migraine onsets on days with thunderstorms.

The mechanism that could substantiate the cause-and-effect link behind lightning and headache, however, is still unknown as it will take larger-scale studies to understand this. The researchers hypothesize that it could be the electromagnetic waves or the lightning-triggered release of fungal spores that could be causing headache and migraine among sufferers during thunderstorms.

[Photo Credit: ra_hurd on Flickr]

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