ICD-10-CM Code H46

Optic neuritis

Version 2021 Non-Billable Code

Not Valid for Submission

H46 is a "header" nonspecific and non-billable code code, consider using a code with a higher level of specificity for a diagnosis of optic neuritis. The code is NOT valid for the year 2021 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions.

ICD-10:H46
Short Description:Optic neuritis
Long Description:Optic neuritis

Consider the following ICD-10 codes with a higher level of specificity:

  • H46.0 - Optic papillitis
  • H46.00 - Optic papillitis, unspecified eye
  • H46.01 - Optic papillitis, right eye
  • H46.02 - Optic papillitis, left eye
  • H46.03 - Optic papillitis, bilateral
  • H46.1 - Retrobulbar neuritis
  • H46.10 - Retrobulbar neuritis, unspecified eye
  • H46.11 - Retrobulbar neuritis, right eye
  • H46.12 - Retrobulbar neuritis, left eye
  • H46.13 - Retrobulbar neuritis, bilateral
  • H46.2 - Nutritional optic neuropathy
  • H46.3 - Toxic optic neuropathy
  • H46.8 - Other optic neuritis
  • H46.9 - Unspecified optic neuritis

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code H46:

Type 2 Excludes

Type 2 Excludes
A type 2 excludes note represents "Not included here". An excludes2 note indicates that the condition excluded is not part of the condition represented by the code, but a patient may have both conditions at the same time. When an Excludes2 note appears under a code, it is acceptable to use both the code and the excluded code together, when appropriate.
  • ischemic optic neuropathy H47.01
  • neuromyelitis optica Devic G36.0

Clinical Information

  • OPTIC NEURITIS-. inflammation of the optic nerve. commonly associated conditions include autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis infections and granulomatous diseases. clinical features include retro orbital pain that is aggravated by eye movement loss of color vision and contrast sensitivity that may progress to severe visual loss an afferent pupillary defect marcus gunn pupil and in some instances optic disc hyperemia and swelling. inflammation may occur in the portion of the nerve within the globe neuropapillitis or anterior optic neuritis or the portion behind the globe retrobulbar neuritis or posterior optic neuritis.

Code Classification

  • Diseases of the eye and adnexa (H00–H59)
    • Disorders of optic nerve and visual pathways (H46-H47)
      • Optic neuritis (H46)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020
  • FY 2021 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2020 through 9/30/2021

Information for Patients


Optic Nerve Disorders

The optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that carry visual messages. You have one connecting the back of each eye (your retina) to your brain. Damage to an optic nerve can cause vision loss. The type of vision loss and how severe it is depends on where the damage occurs. It may affect one or both eyes.

There are many different types of optic nerve disorders, including:

  • Glaucoma is a group of diseases that are the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Glaucoma usually happens when the fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises and damages the optic nerve.
  • Optic neuritis is an inflammation of the optic nerve. Causes include infections and immune-related illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Sometimes the cause is unknown.
  • Optic nerve atrophy is damage to the optic nerve. Causes include poor blood flow to the eye, disease, trauma, or exposure to toxic substances.
  • Optic nerve head drusen are pockets of protein and calcium salts that build up in the optic nerve over time

Contact your health care provider if you are having vision problems. Tests for optic nerve disorders may include eye exams, ophthalmoscopy (an examination of the back of your eye), and imaging tests. Treatment depends on which disorder that you have. With some optic nerve disorders, you may get your vision back. With others, there is no treatment, or treatment may only prevent further vision loss.

  • Optic glioma (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Optic nerve atrophy (Medical Encyclopedia)
  • Optic neuritis (Medical Encyclopedia)

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