Lightning linked to causing headaches, migraines

By WEEK Reporter
By NBC News

Lightning linked to causing headaches, migraines

January 24, 2013 Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 4:47 PM CDT

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- A headache specialist at the University of Cincinnati has published a study that shows a links between lightning and headaches.

Researchers conducted a study in which 90 people from either Cincinnati or St. Louis were asked to keep a journal for three to six months. 

During that time frame, they were asked to record any symptoms of a headache.  Researchers then compared that data to data showing when lightning storms occured.

The study found that if a storm takes place within 25 miles of a person's home, they were 31 percent more likely to have a headache and 28 percent more likely to experience a migraine.

While the researchers do not know for sure that lightning is the exact cause of migraines, they do have some theories to help explain their findings.

Lightning strikes produce extra ozone, perhaps irritating headache sufferers. Also, the extreme conditions that lightning occurs in could release allergens, such as fungal spores, in higher amounts, leading to more headaches.  Possibly, the electromagnetic waves trigger the headaches.

NBC News' report can be read HERE.

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