Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels
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“It might sound like an unusual way to discover that you’re suffering from high cholesterol, but some of the tell-tale signs of this common issue can be spotted in the eyes,” Dr Ali Mearza, consultant ophthalmic surgeon, told Express.co.uk.
As high cholesterol doesn’t generally cause many symptoms, the most reliable way for finding out your levels remains getting tested.
But Dr Mearza shared there’s also a condition called arcus senilis which could draw attention to high cholesterol.
This sign occurs once the cholesterol reaches the cornea, the transparent part of the eye.
Once the fatty deposit reaches this organ, three colours can crop up in your eye, ringing the alarm bells.
The co-founder of OCL Vision said: “Arcus senilis causes a blue, white or light grey ring to form around the outside of your eye.
“It is caused by fat or lipid deposits reaching the cornea.
“It is most common in older adults above the age of 45 to 50, but whatever your age, it is still worth having tests to check your cholesterol profile.”
This ring, forming around the outside of the front of your eye, could be one sign that you have high cholesterol.
Dr Mearza continued: “If the arcus is so pronounced it can be seen with the naked eye it means it has been growing for a number of years.
“For those in the early stages of high cholesterol, it is usually detected through an eye exam.
“And your optician will advise you to get your cholesterol checked.”
Once you notice this sign, it’s important to speak to your GP so they can investigate further.
The expert adds that if arcus appears under the age of 45, it is likely that you are at a risk of an inherited condition linked to high cholesterol.
As high cholesterol can lead to serious health problems, it’s important to get this sign checked.
Dr Mearza explained: “The eye condition itself won’t cause vision loss, but it could be indicative of high fat in the blood.
“Detecting the underlying cause of this eye condition might help you to avoid problems such as coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease further down the line.”
How to lower high cholesterol
Once you get the diagnosis confirmed by your doctor, the next steps will focus on how to retrieve your levels from the red zone.
From dietary changes to medicine, there’s plenty you can do to lower your levels.
A cholesterol-lowering diet usually focuses on cutting down on saturated fat while increasing fibre intake.
There are also other lifestyle changes that can benefit your levels, such as exercise, quitting smoking and lowering your alcohol intake.
However, some people will need to take a medicine called statins to keep their levels in check and prevent further complications.
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