We already know that barometric pressure and humidity can affect the onset of headaches. Lightning, however, is usually not in the mix.
A new study from the University of Cincinnati has found that lightning may indeed be a contributing factor when it comes to head pain.
The researchers found a 31 percent increased risk of headache and 28 percent increased risk of migraine for chronic headache sufferers on days lightning struck within 25 miles of study participants' homes.
“We used mathematical models to determine if the lightning itself was the cause of the increased frequency of headaches or whether it could be attributed to other weather factors encountered with thunderstorms,” says Vincent Martin, MD, and professor in the division of general internal medicine.
Even after accounting for the other weather factors, the results found a 19 percent increased risk for headaches on lightning days. This suggests that lightning has its own unique effect on head pain.
The relationship is unknown at this time, but experts think that electromagnetic waves emitted from lightning could be responsible.
Future studies are in the works.