Did you know that at accuweather.com, alongside checking the weather so you know what to wear and which factor sunscreen to wear, you can also view a map that claims to be able to predict the likely hood of getting a weather related migraine?
The idea behind linking weather and migraine risk is based on the fact that particular weather conditions – commonly related to specifics such as barometric pressure – are known triggers of migraine attacks in many sufferers.
This study involved participants – all of whom met the diagnostic criteria for International Headache Society-defined migraine – recording their headache activity daily for 3-6 months.
An analysis was then performed to assess the impact of lightning and other weather conditions related to thunderstorms on the likelihood of patients developing a migraine.
The results of the study showed that migraines were more likely to happen on lightning days, with a stronger relationship when the average lightning current on that day was more negative.
Correcting for other thunderstorm-associated weather variables had little effect, suggesting that lightning was a strong independent trigger of migraines that could not be completely explained by other meteorological factors.
Possible mechanisms for the impact of lightning on migraine risk include electromagnetic waves, production of gases such as ozone, and induction of fungal spores. However, the authors conclude that the data should be interpreted with caution pending further investigation.