Rings in the eyes can be a sign of high cholesterol

Cholesterol rings can be a symptom of high cholesterol, or to give it the correct medical name, hypercholesterolemia. They are found in the eye, at the side and in front of the cornea and are opaque or milky in colour. The presence of cholesterol rings can only be established with an eye lab test.

Cholesterol rings do not cause problems with your eyesight but their presence is an indication that you may have high cholesterol levels that need to be controlled. Usually these rings can begin to show in your late twenties or thirties but if you have problems with your cholesterol before that then they can show up earlier.

The excess fats or lipids can show up in any part of the human body. When they appear in the eyes this condition is known as eye xanthoma. They appear as white or yellow and are possibly a sign of an underlying problem such as diabetes, thyroid disease, cirrhosis or liver damage so it is best to consult your doctor to exclude any of these or get the correct treatment if necessary.

Cholesterol rings themselves are harmless but if you suffer from them you can have them removed if you think they are unsightly. This is done by laser treatment. Firstly, though, if you do have high cholesterol levels then you must get them under control as high cholesterol is a significant cause of heart disease.

To control your cholesterol levels you should firstly look at your diet. Avoid processed food that has high amounts of fat in it. Try and add more fibre to your diet. Also you probably will need to start taking more exercise. Consult your doctor and he/she will be able to advise you on a good diet and exercise regime.