High cholesterol symptoms: Two warning signs of hypercholesterolaemia in the eyes

High cholesterol symptoms: Two warning signs of hypercholesterolaemia in the eyes

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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Known as familial hypercholesterolaemia, even those who lead the healthiest of lifestyles will have high cholesterol levels and be impacted by the negative consequences, such as an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. While cholesterol levels are not routinely checked on the NHS until you reach the age of 40, it is key to be aware of the warning signs of the life-threatening condition. Experts at the British Heart Foundation (BHF) warned of physical manifestations of the condition in and around the eyes.

Starting with the inner corners of the eyes, there are small lumps of cholesterol that can develop; these lumps will be yellow in colouring.

Medically known as xanthelasmas, this is not the only possible indication of elevated cholesterol.

Another warning sign could be “corneal arcus”, which is where a pale white ring appears around the iris – the coloured part of the eye.

The BHF stated: “If you’re under 50 years old and have corneal arcus, it’s a strong sign that you have FH [familial hypercholesterolaemia].”

While the condition can not be cured, treatment – such as statins – could help to prevent heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks.

The sooner treatment begins, the more quickly cholesterol levels can be managed effectively.

With a predisposition to elevated cholesterol levels, it is even more critical not to aggravate the condition.

As such, it is imperative to eat a healthy, balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, and to do plenty of exercise.

Familial hypercholesterolaemia is caused by one or more faulty genes that are passed down the bloodline.

The genetic mutation prevents the liver – a blood cleansing organ – from removing excess cholesterol from the blood.

Around one in 250 people in the UK have the condition, yet many people are unaware they are affected until later life.

Thus, if you suspect you have the condition, do speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Aside from physical manifestations and elevated blood cholesterol results, there are other indications of the condition.

For instance, a heart attack or stroke at a younger age could be a telling sign.

Another possibility is that other family members have a history of premature heart disease or stroke.

As familial hypercholesterolaemia is hereditary, if another family member has the condition, you might have it too.

The NHS elaborated on ways to lower your cholesterol, whether or not you have familial hypercholesterolaemia.

This includes moving your body, enough for the heart rate to be elevated, for 30 minutes daily, five times per week.

Moreover, a healthy diet includes eating a high-fibre diet full of fruits and vegetables.

High-fibre foods include: wholemeal bread, oats and barley, nuts, seeds, and lentils.

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