High Cholesterol Causes Eye Damage

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high cholesterol eye damage

Diabetes damages the retina at the back of the eye by damaging its small blood vessels, eventually leading to them swelling or becoming blocked, with new ones potentially appearing as well – all leading to diabetic retinopathy.

Your optometrist can often detect these changes using state-of-the-art tests such as fluorescein dye and optical coherence tomography (OCT). These advanced procedures help your physician pinpoint leaky blood vessels or staining in the retina that require medical intervention.

1. Corneal Arcus

Cholesterol often takes the blame for heart disease, but it can also have serious repercussions for your eyes. One effect is by creating arcus (corneal lipid keratopathy), or a ring of fat deposits around the cornea called an arcus ring – often found among those who have high cholesterol levels – according to Cleveland Clinic research. A white arcus may develop in the outer corner of your eye, leading to blurry vision & eventually growing larger over time – potentially an early warning sign of diabetes or high blood pressure – both which could increase cardiovascular risks over time.

Veteran who claimed they had high cholesterol sought a supplemental medical examination. According to the examiner, arcus senilis is a condition which often manifests itself on the edges of cornea, usually seen after age 40; when occurring earlier than this can often indicate hypercholesterolemia or familial high cholesterol issues.

Lipid degeneration of the cornea typically affects both eyes and can take two forms: primary and secondary. Primary forms may be related to elevated serum lipid levels while secondary forms could have arisen due to prior ocular injury or pathology. Primary lipid keratopathy can be identified by scattered white/yellow stromal deposits separated by a narrow clear zone, caused by accumulation of lipids and phospholipids that reduce corneal transparency. Erythema multiforme can lead to a gradual decrease in visual acuity, often associated with dense central lipid infiltrates containing cholesterol crystals. Lipid metabolism disorders such as cholesterol esterification defects, lipoprotein scavenging deficits and lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase (LCAT) deficiencies have been implicated as the source. Tangier disease or Fish-eye disease has also been observed.

2. Drusen

Drusen are yellow deposits that accumulate under the retina and indicate age-related macular degeneration, leading to blurry central vision in those over 60. Drusen often appear as tiny yellow spots on the retina’s surface and are detected during an eye care professional’s comprehensive dilated exam. An eye doctor can then assess if you have dry or wet AMD by inspecting both your retina and its surroundings – wet AMD is more serious as it can lead to permanent vision loss; when combined with wet AMD, drusen may develop into blood vessels under your retina that start leaking – thus becoming an early warning sign for detection by healthcare professionals during an eye examination of both types of AMD.

The CCVA test can detect these vascular abnormalities. Patients must be observed carefully for symptoms such as blurred central vision, wavy lines or dark areas in the center of their field of view. Eye care professionals may use an ophthalmoscope, Amsler grid and optical coherence tomography to monitor them closely and treat optic disc drusen with nutritional supplements like lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc; in cases of CNVM the doctor may perform laser photocoagulation or prescribe anti-VEGF medication to slow their development and slow their growth down significantly.

The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye that converts light into visual signals. High cholesterol levels may contribute to retinal vein occlusion, in which blood clots form in veins connecting eye to brain, preventing blood from reaching retina, leading to sight loss. Smoking should be avoided and protective sunglasses worn. Intake of vitamins and minerals prescribed can also help.

3. Thyroid Disease

The thyroid gland in your neck produces hormones to regulate your metabolism and your eyes may be negatively impacted if this production exceeds or falls below an ideal amount. Overactive thyroids (hyperthyroidism) may lead to eye irritation, swollen eyes, double vision or bulging appearance of eyes while underactive thyroids (hypothyroidism) can contribute to dry eyes as the thyroid is involved with tear production regulation.

If you suspect thyroid disease, your doctor will conduct tests. One such test involves swallowing small doses of radioactive iodine so a special camera can see which parts of your thyroid absorb and respond. Unfortunately, this test cannot be administered during pregnancy.

Methods to detect thyroid disease can include taking a blood sample that shows your hormone levels and having your doctor order an ultrasound of your thyroid to get a picture of its size or whether or not it has become enlarged. For treatment, the best option for thyroid disease is replacement hormones – synthetic versions of those produced naturally by your body – though dosing adjustments may need to be made depending on how old you get.

Hyperthyroidism is more prevalent among women, and Graves disease is the primary source. An autoimmune disease, it causes overactivity of the thyroid gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Other potential sources include nodules called hot nodules as well as certain medications like anti-thyroid drugs that increase production of the hormone. If left untreated, Graves disease can lead to heart issues and even lead to coma or even death in extreme cases.

4. High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure measures the force of blood flowing against the walls of your large blood vessels and is recorded using numbers that have both top (systolic) and bottom (diastolic) values, with ideal readings being between 120/80 mmHg and 130/80 mmHg. High blood pressure damages arterial walls over time, leading to serious health conditions including cardiovascular disease and stroke, kidney damage and vision changes.

High blood pressure causes fats to accumulate in artery walls and stiffen them so blood cannot flow as freely, creating plaque build-up in which any rupture could lead to dangerous blood clot formation and potentially serious injuries or even fatality.

Hypertensive Retinopathy – When someone with high blood pressure experiences prolonged elevated blood pressure levels without medical treatment, their retina (a light-sensitive layer at the back of their eye) blood vessels may swell and leak resulting in vision changes. It usually occurs with untreated elevated blood pressure for extended periods and increases in frequency with diabetes, high cholesterol or smoking habits.

Controlling blood pressure is the single most effective way to minimize vision changes. Your doctor may suggest weight loss, eating a diet low in sodium and regular exercise as well as stress reduction techniques or smoking cessation to decrease hypertension risks and associated vision changes. Annual eye exams should also be scheduled so early diagnosis and treatment of any eye problems associated with hypertension can take place early enough – keeping blood pressure under control can prevent serious eye conditions from emerging as well as slow their progression; in some instances even healing processes within eyes themselves may take place with proper treatment alone.

5. Stroke

Strokes occur when an artery that delivers blood to the brain becomes blocked or ruptures, causing localized damage known as either hemorrhagic stroke or ischemic stroke. They can lead to movement problems, feeling issues, vision impairment and speech deficits; over 80% are preventable; it is essential to visit your doctor regularly and follow recommended treatments including cholesterol management and high blood pressure control; know the warning signs and act quickly – remember B.E. F.A.S.T as an acronym to recognize them:

Eye doctors may detect carotid artery disease in their patients when conducting eye examinations with an ophthalmoscope, which occurs when fatty deposits build up within the arteries that transport blood to the brain, restricting its flow. Symptoms may include weakness, numbness, balance issues or problems with movement on one side of their bodies as well as double vision changes and slurred or unclear speech.

Other risk factors of stroke include leading an inactive lifestyle, smoking cigarettes, high blood pressure, diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea; race and age also play a part in increasing one’s chances of stroke.

As an effective method to avoid stroke, the key is lowering your risk by controlling blood pressure, eating healthily, engaging in regular physical activity and managing other conditions such as high cholesterol or diabetes. Since strokes can be very serious and even fatal events, if any warning signs appear it’s essential that immediate medical help be sought immediately.

About the Author:
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Alexander Suprun

Alex started his first web marketing campaign in 1997 and continues harvesting this fruitful field today. He helped many startups and well-established companies to grow to the next level by applying innovative inbound marketing strategies. For the past 26 years, Alex has served over a hundred clients worldwide in all aspects of digital marketing and communications. Additionally, Alex is an expert researcher in healthcare, vision, macular degeneration, natural therapy, and microcurrent devices. His passion lies in developing medical devices to combat various ailments, showcasing his commitment to innovation in healthcare.

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