Understanding The Codes: Navigating ICD-10 For Dry Eyes Diagnosis

Deciphering the Alphabet Soup: ICD-10 Basics for Dry Eyes

Welcome to the world of medical coding, where the alphabet soup of ICD-10 can seem like a daunting task to navigate. But fear not, as we are here to guide you through the process of understanding the codes for diagnosing dry eyes.

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

Dry eyes, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a common condition that occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. This can lead to discomfort, irritation, and even vision problems if left untreated. But in order to properly diagnose and treat dry eyes, healthcare professionals rely on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition (ICD-10) codes to accurately document the condition.

So let’s dive into the world of ICD-10 coding for dry eyes. The code for dry eyes is H04.12, which falls under the larger category of disorders of lacrimal system. This code specifically refers to keratoconjunctivitis sicca, bilateral. It is important to note that there are different codes for unilateral dry eyes (H04.11) and other specific types of dry eye conditions, so be sure to use the appropriate code based on the patient’s diagnosis.


When documenting dry eyes in a patient’s medical record, it is crucial to provide as much detail as possible to ensure accurate coding. This includes specifying whether the dry eyes are bilateral or unilateral, as well as any underlying causes or contributing factors such as autoimmune diseases, medications, or environmental factors.

In addition to the primary code for dry eyes, there are also secondary codes that may be used to further describe the condition. These can include codes for symptoms such as itching (H10.401), burning (H10.402), or foreign body sensation (H10.403), as well as any associated complications such as corneal abrasions (H16.021) or conjunctivitis (H10.9).

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

It is important for healthcare providers to familiarize themselves with the ICD-10 codes for dry eyes in order to accurately document and code for this common condition. Proper coding not only ensures that patients receive the appropriate treatment and follow-up care, but also helps to streamline the billing and reimbursement process for healthcare facilities.

So the next time you encounter a patient with symptoms of dry eyes, remember to consult the ICD-10 manual and use the appropriate codes to document the diagnosis. By deciphering the alphabet soup of medical coding, you can effectively navigate the world of ICD-10 and ensure that your patients receive the best possible care for their dry eye condition.

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