IHS Criteria for Migraine

Timothy C. Hain, MD < Page last modified: July 19, 2020 See also -- many pages on migraine on this site

The IHS is one of the numerous committees that have listed symptoms needed for various diagnoses involving dizziness. When you need a committee to do something, this means that the entity is vague, and might not even be a single condition. Our opinion is that "Migraine" is not a disease but rather is a definition of a word that designates a collection of symptoms. It saves time when writing, but use of the word does not imply that a group of people who meet these criteria will all act the same.

The official International Headache Society or "IHS" criteria for migraine headache are:

1. Migraine : Recurrent headaches separated by symptom-free intervals and accompanied by any three of the following:

and/or positive family history of migraine. (comment: and/or means anything goes -- it is not restrictive). Variants of migraine include the following.
1.1 Migraine without aura
1.2 Migraine with aura
1.8 Transformed migraine (chronic migraine)

2. Tension type headache -- also defined by the IHS.
2.1 Episodic tension-type headache
2.2 Chronic tension-type headache

3. Cluster Headache and chronic paroxysmal hemicrania
3.1 Cluster headache
3.2 Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania

4. Chronic daily headache unassociated with structural lesion
4.7 New daily persistent headache
4.8 Hemicrania continua

References: