High LDL: Look into your eyes, let your cornea tell if you have dangerously high cholesterol and triglycerides – Times Now

Corneal Arcus or hypercholesterolaemia

Corneal Arcus is a sign of high cholesterol or hypercholesterolaemia&  | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspTwitter

Key Highlights

  • As we move fast through the paces of life, we often neglect what we are eating and what part of our diet is harming our body.
  • We often stuff our stomachs with high-fat foods like chips, fries and vadas or sausages etc. 
  • What we do not realise is that we are clogging our systems with high fats – bad cholesterols like LDL, triglycerides etc. 

How to read the signals our boy sends out to us requires no primer, just a bit of alertness and realisation of what is normal or abnormal.

High cholesterol or hypercholesterolaemia can actually be spotted in the appearance of our eyes, reports the UK daily Express.com.

Hypercholesterolaemia is nothing but the presence of excess cholesterol in the bloodstream and the reasons why this condition develops are eating an unhealthy diet and leading a sedentary lifestyle — apart from the other feature that you cannot help, of course — inheriting a gene that disposes you automatically to the condition.

Hypercholesterolaemia impacts our lives with negative consequences, such as an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Most of us who have crossed 40 years of age must make it a habit to check our blood cholesterol levels every few months so as to be alerted of the existence of the life-threatening condition. 

The article in Express.com cites experts at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) warning of physical manifestations of the condition in and around the eyes.

2 Hypercholesterolaemia signs in and around the eyes:

  1. Xanthelasmas: According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), Xanthelasma is yellow growths on or near the eyelids. They can be flat or slightly raised. They form when deposits of cholesterol (lipid or fat) build-up under the skin. While xanthelasma themselves are not harmful, they can be a sign of not just elevated levels of cholesterol but also heart disease.
  2. Corneal arcus: Another warning sign could be “corneal arcus”, which is where a pale white ring appears around the iris – the coloured part of the eye. Express.com cites the BHF experts who warn that “If you’re under 50 years old and have corneal arcus, it’s a strong sign that you have FH (familial hypercholesterolaemia).” According to Mayo Clinic, Arcus senilis is a grey or white arc visible above and below the outer part of the cornea — the clear, domelike covering over the front of the eye. Eventually, the arc may become a complete ring around the coloured portion (iris) of your eye. Mayo Clinic says that the condition — Arcus senilis is common in older adults. It’s caused by fat (lipid) deposits deep in the edge of the cornea. Arcus senilis doesn’t affect vision, nor does it require treatment. But when arcus senilis occurs in older adults, it isn’t related to high cholesterol. However, an arc or ring around the iris sometimes occurs in younger people who have severe cases of high cholesterol and high triglycerides passed down through families (familial hyperlipidemia). In people with familial hyperlipidemia, this arc or ring typically occurs before age 45 and is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Treatment for corneal arcus and hypercholesterolaemia:

  1. The good news is, you don’t need to treat arcus senilis. 
  2. But it is a warning sign that you must have your cholesterol levels checked.
  3. It is even more imperative if you are under the age of 40, as you may be at higher risk for high cholesterol and coronary artery disease. 
  4. If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes.
  5. You may be asked to exercise more and eat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. 
  6. If your age is over 40 years, corneal arcus is most often a benign finding. 

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.