Migraines are a complex medical condition that affect millions of people around the world. These severe headaches can be triggered by various factors, such as stress, hormones, food and drinks, and atmospherics like bright lights and loud noises. One alleged trigger that has generated a lot of attention is altitude, or changes in elevation above sea level. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the relationship between altitude and migraines, and debunk some common misconceptions about their connection.

What Are Migraines?

Migraines are a recurrent, severe headache that is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances. It is not known what exactly causes migraines, but common triggers include stress, sleep disturbances, certain foods and drinks, hormonal changes in women, physical activity, and weather changes. Migraines can be very disruptive to everyday life, and may last from hours to days.

Does Altitude Really Affect Migraines?

There is evidence to suggest that migraines may be more common in people who live at a lower altitude than at a higher one. This finding renewed interest in the possibility that changes in altitude might be a trigger for migraines. However, the current scientific consensus is that there is no direct evidence linking altitude to an increased incidence of migraines. Indeed, some research suggests that altitude might actually be an indirect benefit when it comes to migraines, due to factors such as cooler temperatures and lower air pressure.

The Myths about Altitude and Migraines

Despite the lack of direct evidence, there still are some persistent myths about the relationship between altitude and migraines. One of the most common is that that higher- altitude locations are more likely to trigger migraines. While some people do experience migraines when they travel to a higher-altitude location, the evidence suggests that this is not causally related to the change in elevation.

Another common myth is that people who live at a higher altitude are more likely to suffer from migraines once they travel to a lower altitude. Again, the evidence does not support this claim. There is no evidence to suggest that living at a higher altitude makes an individual more susceptible to migraines, or that lower altitude locations offer a protective effect.


The current evidence suggests that changes in altitude do not directly trigger migraines. Moreover , there is no evidence to suggest that an individual’s location, whether high or low, has any impact on their likelihood of experiencing migraines. While there are no direct ties to altitude and migraines, individuals who experience migraines should still take precautions when traveling to higher altitudes, due to the possible impact of the atmosphere on other symptoms. As with any other medical condition, if you experience migraines, it is always best to consult with a doctor for a comprehensive diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.