That cholesterol is harmful for our body might has been frequently heard. In fact, sufficient level of the entire cholesterol—the LDL, the HDL, and triglycerides is required by the body to perform its proper functions. Moreover, the absence of cholesterol in the body may result in the absence of some important vitamin synthesized by the help of this waxy substance. Despite this, it is not recommended to have cholesterol level significantly high, since it may lead to some health problems which can be life-threatening.
Health risks of having high cholesterol
High “bad” cholesterol—the LDL and triglycerides may lead to variety of health problems. The most well-known health problems caused by high cholesterol level are heart attack and cardiovascular diseases, such as high blood pressure and stroke. Cholesterol is synthesized by the body, although is also derived from those we eat. If you regularly eat high-cholesterol diet without doing any cholesterol-lowering exercises, you are exposed to the risk of having a high cholesterol. While cholesterol is needed for digestion, excessive amount will cause build ups, which may cause clogged arteries and insufficient blood supply to the vital organs. Cholesterol build ups are also often located in the arteries walls, causing it to thicken. When blood supply to the heart is blocked due to thickening arteries walls, for instance, a sudden heart attack can possibly happen and can be life-threatening. Inside our bloodstream, cholesterol is transformed into sugar, and high blood sugar contributes to a health disturbance as severe as diabetes. As it is not enough, high cholesterol is also researched to affect your eyes.
High cholesterol-induced eye problems
This eye problem is signed by whitish or yellowish deposits around the circumference of the cornea, which is induced by high level of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. People with family history of high cholesterol are more prone to this eye problem. This deposit can also be seen in the eye of people with extremely high cholesterol level. Besides high cholesterol, the occurrence of these deposits can also be the sign of high blood pressure or diabetes. Although does not commonly disturb someone’s vision, it is important to get a blood test for cholesterol once you notice the symptom.
Xanthomas are fatty deposits beneath the skin, which may occur to the surface of the skin as yellowish small bumps. These are not contagious, but are the sign of serious health condition, especially related to cholesterol level. Xanthomas can possibly burst and when it does, it needs special medical attention. Thorough examination about the skin condition and cholesterol amount in the blood which trigger the occurrence of xanthomas should be reviewed.
Can high cholesterol cause blindness?
There are many people who have heard about the correlation between high cholesterol and blindness in humans. This is not an old-wife’s tale and can be factually proven. Therefore, it is important to keep your cholesterol level under control in order to prevent serious eye problems, including blindness.
Eye problem which induces sudden blindness in people with high cholesterol or hyperlipidemia is triggered by retina vein occlusion. Similar to other body parts, our eyes also consist of some blood vessels, which can be easily affected by cholesterol level. When you have a high cholesterol level, your arteries might be either thickening, narrowing, or clogged. This arteries blockage does not merely happen to arteries in your body, but also those ones spread across your eye balls, around the retina. These arteries can be easily clogged by cholesterol build ups and its blood supply can be easily blocked. When the blood vessels around the retina are blocked by these build ups, some blood supply is cut off. This means, there is a shut-down connection between the brain and our optic nerve and the brain, resulting in painless vision loss in the affected eye. The symptoms can be initiated by blurred vision which leads to loss of vision, eye spots or floaters, flashing lights, or pressure pain in the eyes, which eventually lead to vision loss. As this retinal damage continues, new blood vessels grow, yet these blood vessels are weak and can break easily, causing blood leakage which prevents light from reaching the retina. As a result, you might experience total blackness and a permanent vision loss.
In order to keep your eyes healthy, you need to be aware of some ways to care for the organs, such as:
- Do not wait to see an ophthalmologist once you notice strange pains or complaints around your eyes. You might see some visible symptoms, while in some other time you might only experience discomfort or pressure pain. Either one, talk to you doctor without waiting.
- Keep your cholesterol level under control. If necessary, get it tested regularly. It is important to improve your diet and lifestyle to the cholesterol-lowering one. Replace grains and animal-based foods with gluten-free meals, vegetables, legumes, and raw nuts to fulfil your nutrient requirement without escalating your cholesterol level significantly. Besides, get yourself accustomed to daily exercise planning programs. Provide at least 30 minutes a day for doing light cardio exercises, such as running, walking, and cycling, or aerobic exercises. This will keep your body healthy and cholesterol level maintained.
- If you have noticed some of high-cholesterol symptoms, start to lose some weight. Being overweight is known as one of the triggering factor for high cholesterol level.