What’s Your EyeQ?

From May 9, 2012 ICD-10 Connect

In the coming ICD-10 Connect newsletters, we will be taking time to refresh anatomy and pathophysiology (A&P) in reference to ICD-10-CM, with a spotlight on a particular condition. The eyes have been described as the most complex organ in our body. Comparative to its size, there are a myriad of parts that all work together to allow us the gift of sight.

The human eye acts like a camera. Light comes in through the cornea (the glass of a camera’s aperture), with the amount of light coming in controlled by the pupil that opens and closes (camera shutter). The light focuses on the retina, a series of light-sensitive cells lining the back of the eye. The retina (camera film) reacts to the incoming light and sends a record of the image, via the optic nerve, to the brain.

The eye also contains vitreous humor and aqueous humor. The vitreous humor is in the back of the eye and is more gel-like. The aqueous humor is located in the anterior chamber of the eye and is a clear fluid that provides nutrients to the cornea and lens. Aqueous humor leaves the eye through the anterior chamber angle. When the flow of this fluid is blocked, it causes a build-up of intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye. This may lead to glaucoma.

Glaucoma is defined as an increase in the IOP, causing pathologic changes in the optic disk and defects in the field of vision. It is the second most common cause of blindness in the United States. The codes for glaucoma are found in categories H40-H42 in ICD-10-CM. They are broken down to include laterality (in some cases), type (open angle, pigmentary), and for certain subcategories, stage (mild, moderate, severe, indeterminate, or unspecified).

The more we understand A&P, the better we will understand ICD-10-CM. Future articles will feature other organ systems and ICD-10-CM references.

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