Did you know lightening can increase risk of migraines and headaches, a new study suggests.
This is an important finding that can definitely help chronic sufferers accurately predict the likelihood of migraine or headache and begin preventive treatment, the researchers at the University of Cincinnati said.
In this study, it was found that chronic headache sufferers had 34 percent greater risk of a migraine or a headache and about 27 percent of enhanced risk of migraine on days when lightning struck within 24-26 miles of their homes. However, this study failed to prove any cause-and-effect relationship between headaches and lightening.
Migraines and new-onset headaches increased by 26 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in the patients whenever there was lightning, according to the study published in 2016 in the Journal Cephalagia.
“However, all studies are not uniform, and some show conflicting findings on how weather, including elements such as humidity and barometric pressure, affect onset of headaches,” Study co-leader John Martin, a third-year medical student at the University of Cincinnati, said in a university news release. “However, this study clearly shows a strong correlation between lighting, and many other associated meteorological factors and migraines and headaches.”
“We mostly relied on mathematical models to ascertain if the lighting itself was the reason for increased frequency of headaches or whether it could also be attributed to other weather related factors encountered during thunderstorms,” study co-leader Dr. Mary Martin, a headache expert and a professor in the division of general internal medicine, said in a news release.
“We found that the headache risk increased by 21 percent on lightning days, even after accounting for these weather factors, “he added. “This definitely suggests that lightning has its own unique effect on migraines and headaches.
“Lightning can trigger headaches in so many different ways,” Mary Martin said. “Lightning emits electromagnetic waves that could trigger headaches. In addition, lighting also generates many air pollutants such as ozone and can cause rapid release of fungal sports that can also lead to migraine attacks.”
“This particular study definitely throws some light on this link between migraines or headaches and lightning and various other meterorologic factors,” Mary Martin said. However, the exact mechanisms that trigger headaches are still unknown. Ultimately, the effect of weather changes on headaches is quite complex, and many more studies are needed to arrive at some conclusion about the role of thunderstorms and lighting on headache