High cholesterol is very common, but it’s also extremely dangerous, and might be raising your chances of a heart attack or stroke. It’s not always easy to know if you’re at risk, however, as symptoms rarely reveal themselves.
Cholesterol is a type of waxy substance that’s found in the blood.
It’s used by the body to manufacture new cells – but there can be too much of a good thing.
Large amounts of cholesterol can lead to fatty deposits in the blood vessels.
As these deposits continue to grow, it can make blood flow increasingly difficult, sparking the risk of heart attacks.
“One sign that is very serious and potentially blinding is a plaque observed inside one of the small arteries within the eye, known as a Hollenhorst plaque,” it said.
“The plaque in the eye will block the flow of blood further ‘downstream’, therefore occluding that artery and causing death to the tissue that is fed by that artery.
“All the cells in our body need oxygen to survive, and your arteries are the highways that carry the oxygen. If these ‘highways’ are blocked by cholesterol plaques, blood doesn’t reach the tissue it was heading for, and thus oxygen doesn’t, either.
“This results in a quick (within hours) and irreversible loss of function, which could include blindness of the affected eye depending on the location of the blockage/occlusion. An artery occlusion is essentially a ‘stroke’ within the eye.”