High cholesterol: Two signs around your eyes – and how to lower it

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol is mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol, though it can also run in families. Lifestyle changes can often help lower your cholesterol, though some people will take medicine for high cholesterol. Typically, the condition is symptomless, although when there is a blockage you may notice signs.

You can find out if you have high cholesterol through a blood test.

If you are over 40, you may have a test during your NHS Health Check. This is a check-up that can help spot early signs of problems like heart disease and diabetes.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by the liver that brings many important health benefits, such as making hormones and building cell membranes.

High cholesterol means you have too much of the “bad” cholesterol. This is known as LDL cholesterol.

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Verywell Health says that “some common symptoms of high cholesterol can change how your eyes or the area around your eyes looks”.

It states: “The most common eye symptom that is linked to high cholesterol is a xanthelasma – a flat or somewhat raised yellowish area around the eyes or near the nose.”

It adds: “A condition called arcus senilis can also indicate high cholesterol.

“With this condition, a blue, white, or light grey ring forms around the outside of the front of your eye as more cholesterol reaches the cornea.”


Heart UK says: “Your GP might suggest having a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high.”

It adds that you should aim to do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, and smoking can raise your cholesterol and make you more likely to have serious problems like heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

To stave off the risks posed by high cholesterol, it is vital that you intervene early in its development.

The American Heart Association says that in general, red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) have more saturated fat than skinless chicken, fish and plant protein, and can raise your blood cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease.

Eating plenty of fibre helps lower your risk of heart disease, and some high-fibre foods can help lower your cholesterol.

Statins are widely prescribed for their efficacy in managing unruly cholesterol levels. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says: “If your cholesterol is very high and if lifestyle changes are not enough, your doctor might suggest controlling it with medication.”

Statins are taken by more than six million Britons to lessen their odds of having a stroke and heart attack.

The NHS says that there are five types of statins available on prescription in the UK. They include atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin.

Statins work by lowering cholesterol levels to prevent them from clogging the arteries and causing blockages.

Statins have strong associations with nearly 30 different side effects.

The NHS notes that common side effects include headaches, dizziness, feeling sick, and feeling unusually tired or physically weak.

You may also notice that you have digestive system problems, such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or farting.

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