High Cholesterol And Your Eyes

Without getting tested, it can be hard to know if you suffer from high cholesterol, because high cholesterol does not usually have any symptoms. Because of this, you might discover that you have high blood cholesterol during an eye exam, which might seem strange. Eye doctors are often able to diagnose this common health issue, simply because cholesterol can affect your eyes. Here are the ways eye doctors diagnose this condition, and the risk high cholesterol places on your eyes.

How eye doctors can tell

When you have high cholesterol, an eye doctor can actually see the cholesterol in your eyes, and this is something eye doctors look for. There are several signs that the doctor might see that can reveal that you have high cholesterol, including:

  • White rings on cornea – If the eye doctor sees white or gray rings around your corneas, it is typically a sign of cholesterol buildup in your eyes.
  • Pieces of Hollenhorst plaque – If you have high cholesterol, small pieces of it can break off and end up in your eyes.

These are the two main signs that indicate high cholesterol. If your eye doctor notices one or both of these signs, he or she may recommend getting treatment for your cholesterol. If you fail to treat high cholesterol, it can lead to heart disease, and it can also cause eye problems.

High cholesterol can lead to retinal vein occlusion

There is one main eye condition you can develop from high cholesterol, and this is called retinal vein occlusion. Retinal vein occlusion occurs when blood flow is blocked to your eye. There is a vein running to your eye called the central retina artery. If this vein gets blocked, it can lead to a loss of vision, and it could even cause blindness. This occurs because the fluid in your eyes has no way to drain when this vein is blocked.

Retinal vein occlusion can also occur from other health issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure. The problem with this eye condition is there is no way to completely fix it or unclog this vein. If you develop this condition from high cholesterol or from anything else, your eye doctor will want to monitor your eyes regularly, and he or she will recommend treating the health problem that has caused this to happen.

Visiting an eye doctor regularly is not only important for having healthy eyes and good vision, but it can also reveal other health problems. For more information, contact Modern Eyez or a similar location.