High cholesterol: Retinal vein occlusion may occur causing four symptoms in the eyes

Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels

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Having high cholesterol can be dangerous as it often goes unnoticed due to the condition being asymptomatic. Some common symptoms of high cholesterol, however, are known to change how the eyes or the area around the eyes looks and is also known to affect the vision.

The eye retina receives its blood supply via the retinal artery and the retinal vein.

When the vein becomes blocked, retinal vein occlusion occurs.

Central retinal artery occlusion is a form of acute ischemic stroke that causes severe visual loss and is a harbinger of further cerebrovascular and cardiovascular events.

Symptoms of retinal vein occlusion includes:

  • Blurry vision
  • Change in vision in one eye
  • Dark spots or lines in the vision
  • Pain in the affected eye.

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In a study published in Science Direct, high cholesterol and retinal vascular disease was investigated.

“Retinal vein occlusion occurs when one or more veins carrying blood from the eye to the heart become blocked,” began the study.

It continued: “Bleeding (haemorrhage) or fluid build-up (edema) may follow, damaging vision.

“Of patients with retinal vein occlusion, 63.6 percent had hypertension and were more than 3.5 times the odds of having retinal vein occlusion.

“High cholesterol levels were more than twice as common among patients with retinal vein occlusion as those without (35.1 percent vs. 16.7 percent), and those with high cholesterol levels had an approximately 2.5-fold higher risk of retinal vein occlusion.

“It is recommended that an assessment of blood pressure and both fasting lipid and glucose levels be routinely performed in adults with any form of retinal vein occlusion.”

Central retinal artery occlusion can lead to partial to permanent loss of eyesight in the affected eye.

The condition is also linked to diabetes or heart problems.

However, these health problems don’t directly cause it.

A good preventive step is to keep your heart healthy by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and not smoking.

Having high cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in your blood.

You need some cholesterol for cell function but too much can block your blood vessels.

This will increase your risk of developing heart problems or could lead to a stroke.
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