Struck by Lightning…and Migraines?

Published on: Modified on:



By now, you’ve probably already noticed that changes in the weather mean that a migraine attack is imminent; now, scientists believe that the occurrence of lightning may be added to the list weather-related migraine triggers.

Struck by Lightning…and Migraines? Migravent

Migraines and lightning

The study, which was published by Cephalalgia is the first of its kind to link migraine headaches with lightning; a breakthrough in identifying migraine triggers that currently affect over 28 million migraine sufferers.

By accessing various migraine diaries and weather data for people living in Ohio and Missouri, University of Cincinnati researchers noticed a 28% increase in migraine headaches among patients who lived within 25 miles of areas that were struck by lightning.

Additionally, scientists noted an overall 31% increase in headaches when lightning occurred nearby.

Senior author Vincent Martin speculates that the link between migraine frequency and lightning could result from electromagnetic waves, ozone, or simply an increase in allergens produced by stormy weather.

Co-author and son Geoffrey Martin agrees that the study “gives some insight into the tie between headaches or migraines and lightning and other meteorologic factors.”

Migraine triggers

Migraine severity, frequency, and duration are all influenced by elements in your environment- migraine triggers.

While migraine triggers don’t directly cause migraine attacks, they do increase your risk of having one. The more migraine triggers you are exposed to, the more likely you are to have a migraine attack.

Changes in weather patterns are among hundreds of factors that increase your chances of experiencing migraine headaches; other weather-related factors include humidity, barometric pressure, and extreme heat.

In addition to fluctuations in weather, other common migraine triggers are food ingredients such as chocolate and aged cheese, stress, bright lights, strong scents, and fluctuations in sleep, hormones, and eating habits.

In the absence of a cure for migraines, doctors strongly recommend migraine trigger avoidance as an important tool in preventing or reducing migraine headaches.

Migravent Giveaway

Enter to win a free bottle of Migravent!

Now, through February 10, 2013.  For details, see our Facebook page, or enter here.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Fall Weather Migraines- What’s the Connection?

Migraine Weather Triggers- Seasonal Migraines in the Fall

13 Reasons your Migraines Hate the Summer Season


Lightning and its association with the frequency of headache in migraineurs: An observational cohort study

Image courtesy of redagainPatti/flickr