Dry Eye ICD-10 Codes: Understanding And Coding For This Common Condition

What is Dry Eye ICD 10 Code?

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs when your tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. It can lead to discomfort, irritation, and even vision problems. In the medical field, dry eye is assigned the ICD-10 code H04.12.

Code Information

ICD--CM Diagnosis Code H
ICD–CM Diagnosis Code H

The ICD-10 code H04.12 specifically refers to keratoconjunctivitis sicca, which is the medical term for dry eye syndrome. This code is used by healthcare providers to accurately diagnose and document cases of dry eye in patients.

Diagnostic Related Groups (MS-DRG)

Prevalence of dry eye disease in the low vision population at the
Prevalence of dry eye disease in the low vision population at the

When it comes to reimbursement and classification purposes, dry eye falls under the category of miscellaneous disorders of the eye in the MS-DRG system. This means that patients with dry eye may be grouped together with other eye disorders for billing and payment purposes.

Convert to ICD-9 Code

The Most Important Points About Coding for Ocular Surface Disease
The Most Important Points About Coding for Ocular Surface Disease

In the previous ICD-9 coding system, dry eye was classified under code 375.15. This code has now been replaced by the more specific ICD-10 code H04.12, which provides a more accurate and detailed description of the condition.

Code History

The ICD-10 code for dry eye, H04.12, was introduced in 2015 as part of the tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases. This update aimed to improve the accuracy and specificity of diagnostic coding for various medical conditions, including dry eye syndrome.

Approximate Synonyms

Some approximate synonyms for dry eye syndrome include keratoconjunctivitis sicca, dysfunctional tear syndrome, and aqueous tear deficiency. These terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same condition of inadequate tear production and lubrication.

Clinical Information

Dry eye is a chronic condition that can result from a variety of factors, including aging, hormonal changes, environmental factors, and certain medications. It is characterized by symptoms such as eye redness, irritation, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.


The causes of dry eye can vary from person to person, but common factors include aging, hormonal changes (such as menopause), certain medications (such as antihistamines and decongestants), environmental factors (such as dry or windy conditions), and underlying medical conditions (such as autoimmune disorders).


Common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include a gritty or sandy feeling in the eyes, redness, irritation, burning or stinging sensation, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing. These symptoms can vary in severity and may worsen with certain activities or environmental conditions.


Diagnosing dry eye involves a comprehensive eye examination, including a review of symptoms, a visual acuity test, a tear production test (such as the Schirmer test), and an evaluation of the ocular surface. Additional tests may be conducted to determine the underlying cause of dry eye in some cases.


Treatment for dry eye syndrome may include over-the-counter artificial tears, prescription eye drops, ointments, punctal plugs to block tear drainage, and lifestyle modifications (such as wearing sunglasses outdoors and using a humidifier indoors). In severe cases, surgical procedures or advanced therapies may be recommended to improve tear production and relieve symptoms.


In conclusion, dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition that can cause discomfort and vision problems. By using the ICD-10 code H04.12, healthcare providers can accurately diagnose and treat patients with dry eye, leading to improved outcomes and quality of life for those affected by this condition.


1. Can dry eye be cured?
While dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition, it can be managed effectively with proper treatment and lifestyle modifications. There is no definitive cure for dry eye, but symptoms can be controlled and improved with the right approach.
2. Is dry eye a serious condition?
Dry eye syndrome is not typically a serious or sight-threatening condition, but it can significantly impact quality of life and daily activities. Seeking early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and alleviate symptoms.
3. Can dry eye lead to permanent vision loss?
In most cases, dry eye syndrome does not lead to permanent vision loss. However, severe and untreated dry

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