High cholesterol is a pernicious condition characterised by abnormally high levels of fatty molecules in the blood. The lipids are carried in the blood by proteins, which gradually get deposited onto the arterial walls. The vessels leading to the eyes can sometimes be affected, causing minor disruptions to vision. Occasionally, white, grey and yellow deposits may appear around the cornea.
High cholesterol can cause sensitive blood vessels in the eye to weaken and thin over time, which can have severe repercussions for eye health.
One of the first signs that high cholesterol is damaging your eyes is blurred vision.
But the fatty deposits may also be visible around the cornea, causing a condition known as arcus senilis.
White, grey and yellow deposits form in the outer edge of the cornea, the clear outer layer on the front of the eye.
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The health body Care Optics explains: “The high presence of bad cholesterol in your blood can cause problems […].
“It is hard to diagnose underlying problems, but some of the warning signs are white, grey and yellow deposits forming around the cornea, blurry vision, and yellow bumps around the eyes.”
These comprise fat and cholesterol and are more likely to develop with old age.
One important dietary measure in cholesterol treatment is cutting out saturated fats, but adding some items to one’s diet could help too.
Plant sterols, which are found in legumes, vegetable oils, nuts, cereal and seeds, can lower cholesterol.
Foods containing soluble fibre should also be emphasised, as these can latch onto the fatty molecules in the digestive tract and drag them out of the body.
Finally, exercise can raise HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, which removes fat from the arteries and lowers levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.