High cholesterol: The unusual warning you may be at risk found in your eyes

High cholesterol levels are troublesome as it means there is too much 'bad' cholesterol floating in the blood, which can result in serious complications. The condition does not have any obvious symptoms in the early stages meaning many are unaware until it is too late. Shamir Patel spoke exclusively to to discuss the unusual warning sign found in a person's eyes.

People with high cholesterol often don't realise that they have it, as there are no glaringly obvious symptoms, said Mr Patel.

He added: "However, it can be a serious health condition, because it can block your blood vessels and put you at risk of heart problems and strokes.

"Therefore, it's important to understand and recognise the warning signs that your cholesterol may be too high.

"Firstly, consider the main risk factors: do you do little exercise, smoke, eat fatty food and drink alcohol?

"Does your family have a history of high cholesterol?

"This is fatty material containing lipids, or fats, including cholesterol, and usually appear symmetrically between your eyes and nose.

"Another symptom can be erectile dysfunction, caused by the lack of blood flow.

"However, each of these symptoms can be other health conditions, which is why it's so important to test your cholesterol on a regular basis.

"Call your GP if you are concerned, who can discuss your concerns.

"There are also home testing kits if you would prefer." 

What are the symptoms of xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma are yellowish-white lumps of fatty material accumulated under the skin on the inner parts of your upper and lower eyelids.

The plaques contain lipids, or fats, including cholesterol, and usually appear symmetrically between your eyes and nose.

These lesions and plaques don't impair the function of your eyelids.

That means they shouldn't affect your ability to blink, or open or close your eyes.

They can gradually become larger over time and cause discomfort.

Usually they don't need to be removed unless they become uncomfortable or for cosmetic reasons.

High cholesterol isn't a visible thing. Unlike obesity, it's not something that can be diagnosed just by looking at someone - there are rarely any outward signs or symptoms, so you can be overweight and "dumpy" or be thin and skinny and have unhealthy cholesterol levels, said dietician Helen Bond.

She continued: "An elevated ‘bad' cholesterol is a hidden health hazard as it dramatically increases our risk of circulatory and heart disease, but often people don't know they have high cholesterol until they start suffering with symptoms like chest pain or breathlessness linked to specific heart conditions.

"But, far from seeing high cholesterol as something we're stuck with and can't change, we should view it as a helpful indicator of our future coronary heart disease and stroke risk – and more importantly, as something, we can take action to lower.

"So, go and have your cholesterol checked so you know your cholesterol numbers."

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