Thunder and lightning can do more than just disrupt your sleep patterns and scare the family pet. A recent study by The University of Cincinnati suggests that lightning can also increase the frequency of headaches. The study reported a 31 percent increase in headache incidences when lightening struck within 25 miles of participants’ homes. The following is a description of barometric pressure and how it’s influencing your headaches.

What is barometric pressure?

Barometric pressure refers to the weight of the air pressing against the Earth’s surface. On a day with sunny skies and warm weather, air sinks down to the Earth and produces higher air pressure. During cloudy days and summer storms, air rises and pressure decrease.

So how is it affecting my headaches?

Scientists have not yet determined exactly how barometric pressure causes headaches, but one theory suggests that changes in air pressure may also influence changes in oxygen levels. When air pressure fluctuates, the blood vessels in your head expand and contract to reflect those changes. This process can cause headaches similar to those you experience while on an airplane.

Is there a cure?

There are many over-the-counter medications available that can temporarily remedy your headache symptoms. However, treatments that focus on full-body health such as integrative care, can offer natural and long-term benefits.