What are cholesterol spots on the eyes?

Updated November 22, 2016

Cholesterol is necessary in the body for the functioning of many organs and cell production. Too much cholesterol can put a person at risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. The outward signs are few, but the eyes may give some insight into high cholesterol levels.


The are no visible warning signs of high cholesterol. Most often when symptoms occur they are in the form of a heart attack or other serious conditions.


A blood test is used to diagnose high cholesterol. Periodic testing for high cholesterol levels should begin at age 20. Patients with high levels should be screened every two to six months, or as advised by their doctor.


Flat yellow bumps located above or around the eye can signal high cholesterol. These bumps are actually a build up of fat deposits and most often signal high cholesterol levels.


Xanthoma are the yellow coloured skin lesion that are typically found around the eyes in high cholesterol. When found on the eye lids the spots are called Xanthelasma.


Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, maintaining proper weight, exercising and quitting smoking are all ways to avoid, treat and manage high cholesterol. Those with very high levels may require medication.


By the time yellow coloured eye patches appear around the eyes, cholesterol levels are usually exceptionally high. A doctor's visit and immediate care is warranted.

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