High cholesterol symptoms on eyes. How to treat it?

 High cholesterol or also known as dyslipidemia is a medical condition where the fat level in the body is deranged. There are few types of cholesterol and not all cholesterol is bad. Low-density lipoprotein or known as LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol, while high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol is good cholesterol. Triglyceride is another form of fat in the human body that is also bad for the human body. A high level of good cholesterol is not a problem and is not a disease. If we have a high level of LDL cholesterol or triglyceride, then that is a problem. Dyslipidemia is a disorder related to fat and not only cholesterol. There are two causes of dyslipidemia. The primary cause of dyslipidemia is due to an error in fat metabolism and this is related to genetics. Secondary causes of dyslipidemia are related to other diseases or risk factors. Some features may give us a clue that we are suffering from high cholesterol and this is known as signs of high cholesterol. Understanding the signs and symptoms of high cholesterol is important in diagnosing this condition.

 The clinical features of dyslipidemia are:

  • Corneal arcus
  • Corneal opacification
  • Changes in retina
  • Tendinous xanthomas
  • Eruptive xanthomas
  • Tuberous xanthomas
  • Planar xanthomas

  Corneal arcus, corneal opacification, and changes in the retina are clinical features of high cholesterol in the eyes. The changes in eyes rarely cause visual impairment, hence, the treatment is focussing to reduce and prevent other complications like stroke and heart disease. The changes in the eyes do not require treatment or modification. Other than eye manifestations, this disease may cause the development of xanthomas. Xanthomas are skin changes due to dyslipidemia.

 Primary causes of dyslipidemia are:

  1. Familial hypercholesterolemia
  2. Hypertriglyceridemia
  3. Inherited disorders other than familial hypercholesterolemia

 Secondary causes of dyslipidemia are:

  1. Diabetes mellitus
  2. Nephrotic syndrome
  3. Liver disease
  4. Chronic kidney disease
  5. Smoking
  6. Hypothyroidism
  7. Obesity
  8. Excessive alcohol consumption
  9. Certain medications

 Health screening is very important in ensuring that you are healthy and free from any disease. Not all individuals with high cholesterol required medications. You can start modifying your lifestyle to reduce and control your cholesterol level at an optimum level by:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Consume a healthy and balanced diet
  • Quit smoking
  • Minimize or stop consuming alcohol
  • Go for regular health screening
  • Manage your stress well

 Familial hypercholesterolemia is a condition related to genetics that is characterized by excessive fat production in the body. This condition is mainly treated with statins. Statins are lipid or fat lowering agents. Dyslipidemia is harmful as it may cause life-threatening complications like heart attack and stroke. The symptoms and signs of heart related disease are:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Increased jugular venous pressure
  • Swollen limbs or peripheries
  • Abnormal heart sound

  The examinations to confirm the diagnosis of heart disease is:

  • ECG and ECG stress test
  • Blood studies of cholesterol level and cardiac biomarkers test
  • Chest x-ray
  • Cardiac angiography
  • Echocardiography

 Stroke is one of the causes of disability among our people. Stroke, on the other hand, is a condition where the blood vessels of your brain got blocked. The key element to prevent this disease is by preventing blood clot formation within the blood vessels. Stroke has many negative consequences. This disease will affect various body systems. So, visit a hospital. When someone is confirmed to have a stroke attack, treatment is given accordingly. The treatment and management are:

  • Intravenous (I.V) fluid
  • Treatment for low or high blood sugar level
  • Prevent any oral intake if the swallowing function is impaired
  • Prop-up the patient
  • Paracetamol if the patient is having a fever
  • Admission to the stroke unit for designated care
  • Specific medications

  Specific medications for the treatment of stroke are:

  • Alteplase
  • Statin
  • Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
Leeann G. Convery

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