High Cholesterol Eye Symptoms

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high cholesterol eye symptoms

Eyes are said to be windows to the soul, yet they can also provide clues as to a person’s overall health. An annual comprehensive eye exam is one of the best ways to detect these indicators of potential trouble.

Fatty deposits around your eyelids known as xanthelasma may indicate high cholesterol, increasing your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Your physician can suggest lifestyle modifications and dietary modifications that will help regulate cholesterol levels to keep it at safe levels.

Corneal Arcus

An arcus corneae, or thin gray or white line ringed around the cornea, is known as an “arcus corneae.” While this arc-shaped appearance may be normal in older adults due to fat deposits in their corneas, its appearance in those under 40 could signal elevated cholesterol levels or familial hypercholesterolemia – both conditions which increase risk for heart disease.

Arcs usually appear in the peripheral cornea, making them inaccessible to someone directly looking into your eye. They can, however, be observed through a slit lamp and tend to be symmetrical across your eye with more severe cases occurring around 12 o’clock sector of cornea – this area also houses blood vessels which supply the cornea – perhaps accounting for its greater susceptibility to arcus.

If the arcs are symmetrical, they’re probably noncancerous and can be treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops such as steroid drops. If they’re irregular however, further evaluation and treatment is likely required to treat any potential causes; such as eye surgery to remove them or treating any potential underlying conditions causing them.

Light sensitivity may be another telltale sign of elevated cholesterol. When your eyes become more sensitive to light than usual, this could be an indicator that your cornea has thinned out, potentially leading to blurry vision and vision loss. Contact lenses may exacerbate this sensitivity further so it’s best to opt for quality glasses instead.

Red bumps on either side of an eyelid could be indicative of basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer which can spread to other parts of your body if left untreated quickly. These lumps tend to be hard-textured and typically appear at either the base of lower lid or corner of eye, often hard-touching the touch surface when touched directly. If a sore doesn’t heal within a week it’s important to visit a physician immediately so a biopsy can be conducted.


Xanthelasma are yellowish, flat, and slightly elevated plaques that form on the skin, usually on the upper eyelid. Although not painful or hindering vision or function, these bumps could be an early indicator of dyslipidemia – a metabolic condition with abnormal cholesterol levels in its early stages.

Lipid accumulation is most frequently seen among those suffering from genetic hyperlipidemias like familial hypercholesterolemia or hyperapobetalipoproteinemia; however, they can also occur in other individuals with abnormal cholesterol levels. Lipid accumulation results from an increase in fats, fat transport proteins, and cholesterol found in blood.

As this type of lesion is more likely to appear in adults, its presence among children and adolescents should be carefully evaluated for signs of familial hyperlipidemia or an underlying cause.

Diet is often at the root of xanthelasma; especially consumption of foods and beverages high in fats and sugars. To protect against it, consume a balanced diet comprising fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and fish which will provide essential vitamins and nutrients needed to keep lipid levels within normal parameters.

Xanthelasma can lead to serious complications, including arcus senilis and Hollenhorst plaque. These conditions occur when small pieces of cholesterol-laden fatty deposits escape their vessels’ walls and travel up toward the eyeball, blocking bloodflow. If left untreated, this may result in permanent loss of vision.

Physicians can identify arcus senilis and other forms of xanthelasma by inspecting the surface of the eye and surrounding skin. A typical recommendation will include following an anti-cholesterol regimen to reduce fat in the body. This usually includes eating low-fat diet and increasing physical activity as well as taking medications such as cholestyramine or colestipol that help decrease fat levels in blood. Surgical excision of xanthelasmas may be recommended, or alternatively they can be removed using laser treatment such as Ellman technique or topical Trichloroacetic acid treatments.

Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease can cause your eyes to swell, leading them to protrude beyond their protective orbit and form exophthalmos or proptosis – also known as proptosis – leading to pain, grittiness or watery eyes as well as retracting eyelids and possibly double vision and more dilated pupils. If these symptoms arise for you, speak to your physician regarding getting diagnosed and treated for thyroid disease.

Thyroid Disease is an autoimmune condition in which your immune system perceives your thyroid gland as something to attack – similar to bacteria or viruses – leading to chemical releases and swelling around the eyes. Although TED can occur with any thyroid condition, Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism tend to have the highest rates.

Hyperthyroidism, or an overactive thyroid, typically produces symptoms similar to those seen with high cholesterol. They include weight loss, trembling, increased sweating, heart palpitations anxiety difficulty sleeping fine or brittle hair dry skin lumpy neck goiter menstrual cycles depression fatigue and weakness.

Graves’ disease, and with other health conditions like high cholesterol and cardiovascular issues as well as eye symptoms including swelling and redness around his eyes as well as feelings of weakness and unsteadiness was presented to their physician for evaluation. His TFTs had been normal and he had been taking thyroxine for two years, however when he discontinued its use for six weeks, his TFTs returned to normal as did his weakness and eye disease symptoms as well as any other health concerns that had surfaced. His eye symptoms were thought to be caused by his treatment with thyroxine and were thought to be caused by taking too much of it. After being evaluated again and discovering low thyroid hormone levels, symptoms improved considerably while no longer needing thyroxine; instead he returned to receiving regular medical care for other symptoms of hypothyroidism.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory joint condition caused by inflammation of the tissue (synovium) lining joints and tendons, leading to swelling, pain and stiffness in joints over time. Over time it may even damage bones and cartilage within them. Furthermore, this autoimmune disease may impact organs in addition to those related to the musculoskeletal system such as skin, eyes, lungs and heart.

This inflammatory disease can produce multiple eye symptoms, such as eyelid redness, puffiness and pain around the eyes. People suffering from RA often have dry eye symptoms which lead to blurred vision and light sensitivity as well as jaw pain called Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), making it hard for patients to open their mouth, chew or swallow food properly.

Rheumatoid arthritis not only presents eye symptoms but can also lead to swelling of tissue surrounding joints, placing pressure on nerves and tendons. Furthermore, some joints can form lumps called “rheumatoid nodules”, which cause severe discomfort in fingers and wrists.

Persons suffering from arthritis should seek medical assistance as soon as they notice symptoms, as early detection and treatment can decrease severity and minimize long-term complications. Doctors can test for RA by reviewing medical histories and performing physical exams that include examination of joints. For better assessment they may order blood work or imaging tests such as an X-ray or an MRI of affected joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis can typically be managed using medication to help alleviate symptoms, including pain and swelling. Medication may be taken orally or directly injected into joints to provide pain relief. For severe cases, surgery may also be necessary to remove damaged joint tissues or repair ligaments connecting bones within joints. Splinting, exercise that does not strain joints and education on managing disease limitations are all effective treatments that should also be considered; including helping adapt to one’s limits while managing daily tasks such as washing and dressing more easily for example. Additionally, obese individuals should also be encouraged to maintain a healthier weight for better joint health benefits.

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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