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Monday, August 2, 2010

Relationship between Arcus senilis and high cholesterol

Arcus senilis and the eye findings associated with high cholesterol are distinctly different.

What is Arcus senilis!! It is a gray or white arc visible above and below the outer part of the cornea — the clear, dome-like covering over the front of the eye, also known as arcus cornealis, Eventually, the arc may evolve into a complete ring around the cornea.
Arcus senilis is common in older adults. It's caused by fat (lipid) deposits deep in the edge of the cornea. It isn't necessarily related to high cholesterol, however. Arcus senilis doesn't affect vision, nor does it require treatment.

High cholesterol is more likely associated with a similar gray or white arc visible around the entire cornea (circumferential arcus) in younger adults. Even then, however, eye findings associated with high cholesterol are uncommon — typically affecting only people who have severe cases of high cholesterol and high triglycerides passed down through families (familial hyperlipidemia). Treatment is generally aimed at controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The average person who has high cholesterol doesn't develop an arc of any type. If you're concerned about eye health and high cholesterol, consult your doctor for an evaluation.

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