The Side Effect Of High Cholesterol You Didnt Know
By now you know the risks associated with high cholesterol and why its so important to keep your numbers within a healthy range. Cholesterolcan take a toll on your heart health and set you up for a cardiovascular event like heart attack or heart disease. When cholesterol is stuck to the artery walls, passing through becomes far more difficult for blood and the heart has to work harder, too. Just for these reasons alone, its important you maintain healthy cholesterol numbers.
But research suggests high cholesterol isnt threatening your heart only. In fact, it may also impact your vision.
What Causes High Cholesterol
Your liver produces cholesterol, but you also get cholesterol from food. Eating too many foods that are high in fat can increase your cholesterol level.
Being overweight and inactive also causes high cholesterol. If you are overweight, you most likely have a higher level of triglycerides. If you never exercise and arent active in general, it can lower your HDL .
You family history also affects your cholesterol level. Research has shown that high cholesterol tends to run in families. If you have an immediate family member who has it, you could have it, too.
Smoking also causes high cholesterol. It lowers your HDL .
/6high Cholesterol Symptoms In Eyes
As per reports, due to high cholesterol certain changes are visible in the eyes. Though these symptoms are not specific to high cholesterol but these can guide one to visit a doctor and take timely medical assistance.
Xanthelasmas are the whitish or yellowish plaques that occur on the outer surface of the upper eyelid. Though this condition is also linked with other medical conditions, its association with hyperlipidemia is also commonly suggested. These are usually soft and semi solid.
Corneal Arcus is also another indicator of high cholesterol. This is a pale white ring around the iris of one’s eye. Iris is the colored part of the eye. “If youre under 50 years old and have corneal arcus, it’s a strong sign that you have familial hypercholesterolaemia,” experts say.
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High Cholesterol & Retinal Artery Occlusions
HDL carries cholesterol from the walls of your arteries to your liver, whereas LDL transports cholesterol to the tissues in your body and the walls of your arteries. Thus, high levels of LDL can lead to narrowing of the veins and arteries, plaque buildup in the walls of veins and arteries, and the development of clots as a result of plaque buildup in an artery or as a result of plaque breaking off and moving to a more narrow artery.
A stroke occurs due to decreased blood flow in the brain. This results from narrowing arteries or arterial blockages. A heart attack can occur as a result of blockages in the heart. When blockages occur in the retina of the eyes, they are known as retinal arterial occlusions.
The Three Early Signs Of High Cholesterol You Can Notice In Your Eyes
The dangerous condition can leave sufferers susceptible to serious heart problems and stroke
Cholesterol – a fatty substance found in the blood that the body needs to function properly. But too much of the waxy liver product can have serious implications for your health.
From the abundance of cholesterol lowering health foods and fad diets on the market you can probably guess that overconsumption of fatty foods can cause a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries.
But having high cholesterol can also be caused by a lack of exercise, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol. It can run in families as well.
While there are no definitive symptoms of having high cholesterol, there are a few tell-tale signs that involve your eyes and vision.
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What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
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Dr Chris Reveals How Eyes Can Indicate High Cholesterol Levels
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High cholesterol is when people have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol. There are two main types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein . People often refer to these types of cholesterol as good and bad respectively. There are three signs to spot warning you may have too much cholesterol found in your eyes.
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Myth: I Would Be Able To Feel It If I Had High Cholesterol
Fact: High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too latewhen you have a heart attack or stroke. Thats why its so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2 Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.
Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.
Type 2 Diabetes And Diabetic Retinopathy
High cholesterol and obesity are closely linked to the development of Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is a long term metabolic disorder, which causes high blood sugar levels, reduced insulin levels and insulin resistance.Type 2 Diabetes has been linked to Diabetic Retinopathy, which is where the blood vessels of the retina become damaged, causing vision loss to varying degrees. Whilst it takes several years for diabetic retinopathy to reach a point where it threatens your sight, the NHS emphasise the importance to attend diabetic eye screening appointments, with an annual screening offered to all people aged 12 or over, to detect any deterioration to the eye.
Treatment Photocoagulation laser surgery is usually very effective at preventing vision loss caused by Diabetic Retinopathy, however it can only help if it is carried out earlier on in Diabetic Retinopathy development, i.e. before the retina has been severely damaged.
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Treating Cholesterol Conditions In Your Eyes
While these issues affect your eyes, its important to remember theyre a symptom of a larger problem: high cholesterol. One of the best ways to prevent and relieve these issues is to start a low-fat diet, including eating fewer processed foods, says Dr. Bajic.
While you should always consult your healthcare provider for a nutrition plan thats right for your specific health, the Mediterranean Diet is a good place to start. With a mix of fiber, protein and healthy fats, it can go a long way to improving your overall health.
What Do I Need To Know Before Getting Screened
A cholesterol test is a simple blood test. Your doctor may tell you not to eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours before the test. The results give you four measurements:1,3
- Total cholesterol. Less than 200 mg/dL is considered normal.
- LDL cholesterol. Less than 100 mg/dL is considered normal. LDL is sometimes called bad cholesterol, because it can build up and clog your arteries, eventually leading to heart disease or stroke.
- HDL cholesterol. It is best to have more than 40 mg/dL. HDL is sometimes called good cholesterol, because it can help clear arteries of cholesterol buildup.
- Triglycerides. This is a type of fat in the blood. Normal levels are typically below 150 mg/dL.
Increased Risk Of Eye Diseases And Conditions
Along with the immediate signs of high cholesterol that are present in the form of xanthelasma and associated eye conditions, there is also an increased risk of developing several sight-threatening eye conditions, including:
- Macular degeneration
- Treating cholesterol conditions in your eyes
- Treating these and other eye conditions that result from high cholesterol requires a holistic approach that considers the whole body, One of the most effective ways to address these problems is to adopt a low-fat diet. This includes eating more unprocessed fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that are highly processed, such as potato chips and simple carbs.
In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe certain medications to help lower cholesterol including:
- Statins .
- Bile acid sequestrants .
- PCSK9 Inhibitors .
Though they may not cause you any pain, these eye symptoms can still do damage to your vision, and are also a sign of an overall issue with your health. Dont ignore the signs of high cholesterol.
The Things At The Last
Some changes in the appearance of your eyes or change in your vision can be the sign or the symptom that you are suffering from a high cholesterol level. The conditions which can change the appearance of your eye or how your eyes look like the arcus senilis dont affect the vision. But there are some other more severe issues like eye stroke, which can lead to the loss of vision in a person with high cholesterol. If you notice such kind changes in the appearance of your eyes, then it is essential for you to make an appointment with your doctor. By getting proper treatment from the doctor with medication and required changes in your lifestyle, the high cholesterol can be treated.
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Cholesterol And Cataracts Connection
Some people believe there is a direct connection between cholesterol and cataracts. But, it seems to be less of a direct threat and more of an indirect one. It is an indirect threat by two means an unhealthy diet and the medicine used to lower high cholesterol.
A healthy diet is important for all bodily functions. This includes your eyesight. A diet that is high in cholesterol is not healthy. If a person is eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fat, they are less likely to develop food-related health issues.
When taking care of your body and eyes, consider reducing the amount of high cholesterol, fat, and sugar items in your diet. That mean limiting the amount of fast food and processed foods you consume.
There are plenty of foods that contain the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for improving eye health and vision. And, many of them are delicious. For an eye-healthy diet, you need a blend of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy carbohydrates. Add lots of leafy greens, sweet potatoes, fish, and water to your diet.
So What Does This Have To Do With Your Eyes
Cholesterol is a type of fat, and when fats dont have anything to do, they cause trouble. Having too much random fat floating around in your body causes plaque buildup in your arteries and deposit in small capillaries throughout your body.
These deposits look like tiny yellow balls. Sometimes, theyre so small they look like specks of dust.
Because the skin around your eyes is so thin, you can see the blood vessels and arteries quite easily. So when one of these little fat balls gets stuck in these capillaries, the skin is no longer translucent and looks dark.
If you get a lot of it, you get heavy bags and dark circles around your eyes.
Fortunately, if you can get your cholesterol under control by solving the actual problem, the heavy dark bags can disappear.
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Can You Treat High Cholesterol
With proper treatment and diet and lifestyle changes you can get your cholesterol back to a healthy level. On the other hand, if high cholesterol remains untreated you could develop coronary artery disease , peripheral arterial disease and/or suffer a heart attack, stroke or transient ischemic attack . There are many secondary issues that can arise from high cholesterol, such as PAD. 20% of people with PAD suffer a nonfatal heart attack within 5 years.
/6keep An Eye On High Cholesterol
Your body needs cholesterol, a type of fat, to function properly. However, having too much cholesterol in your blood can negatively affect your health.High cholesterol is a known risk factor for severe health problems, ranging from heart disease to a stroke. Characterised by a lack of warning signs, high cholesterol is often described as a silent condition. However, leaving your levels undetected can put your cardiovascular health at risk.One indicator of high cholesterol in your blood could be eye floaters.
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/6symptoms Of Eye Floaters
If you are unsure of whether you are experiencing eye floaters or not, there are some signs and symptoms which can help identify the floaters. Floaters can take different shapes such as small lines, rings, cobweb shapes or other irregular shapes. They can appear like threadlike strands, which can be knobby and almost see-through. They can also be in the form of dark specks or spots that move when you move your eyes. When you try to follow these floaters, they move quickly out of the visual field. Eye floaters often prop up on bright backgrounds such as screens, blue sky or a white wall. The intensity, size and shape of these floaters vary from person to person.
What Can Your Eyes Tell You About Heart Disease
The eyes do more than allow us to see they have something to say. In fact, certain parts of the eye can indicate underlying health problems.
How exactly? The arrangement of blood vessels at the back of the eye, also known as the retina vasculature, is closely connected to the health of your heart. That means issues we see in the eye can be directly linked to health problems with the heart and the vessels in your body.
Most eye exams include an inspection of the outside and inside of the eye. To do this, your ophthalmologist will use an ophthalmoscope to examine things such as pupil reflexes, the lens of your eye, the retina, and the optic nerve.
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What Should My Cholesterol Levels Be
Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.
As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:
- 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk
As a general guide, LDL levels should be:
- 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk
An ideal level of HDL is above 1mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.
Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL may also be calculated. This is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be below four, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol is only one risk factor. The level at which specific treatment is required will depend on whether other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, are also present.
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What Is High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is when thereâs too much bad cholesterol and/or not enough good cholesterol in your blood.
This picture shows what it looks like if you have low cholesterol, normal cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels.
Sometimes health professionals talk about the terms dyslipidaemia and hyperlipidaemia. Both are clinical terms that mean your levels of cholesterol are outside the normal range.
Symptoms of high cholesterol
You wonât know if you have high cholesterol because it doesnât usually have symptoms. The only way to know is to have a blood test.
Why does high cholesterol matter?
When your cholesterol is too high it can build up as plaque in your arteries. If the plaque gets too big, or breaks off, it can cause a heart attack and stroke. This risk also increases when your triglycerides are too high.
Your doctor will use the results of your blood test and your other heart attack risk factors to decide whether you need medication to lower your cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
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