Want to prepare for your next migraine? It may be best to check the weather report.
University of Cincinnati researchers are reporting the results of the first study to find that lightning may affect the onset of headache and migraines.
Yep, if you’re a chronic migraine or headache sufferer and lightning is striking within 40km (25 miles) of your home, there’s a 28-31 per cent increased chance of you reaching for the painkillers.
And if you’re not a chronic sufferer, you’re still a 23-24 per cent of experiencing new-onset headaches and migraines.
Participants in the study were first required to pass a test that proved they suffered International Headache Society-defined migraines.
They then recorded their headache activity in a daily journal for three to six months.
As they were doing this, researchers recorded the location where lightning struck within 40km of their homes as well as the magnitude and polarity of its current.
Geoffrey Martin, fourth-year medical student at UC, said that negatively charged lightning currents in particular were responsible for a higher number of headaches.
“There are a number of ways in which lightning might trigger headaches,” he said.
“Electromagnetic waves emitted from lightning could trigger headaches.
“In addition, lightning produces increases in air pollutants like ozone and can cause release of fungal spores that might lead to migraine.””
Martin said there had been many studies on how weather elements like barometric pressure and humidity affected the onset of headaches, but the results were universally conflicting.
“However, this study very clearly shows a correlation between lightning, associated meteorological factors and headaches.”