Cornea

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil, and anterior chamber. Together with the lens, the cornea refracts light, with the cornea accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye’s total optical power.

Therapy

The arcus senilis can be related to an elevation of the blood lipids. Treatment with medications to lower the cholesterol level may stop the progression.But there is no treatment to remove the ring from the cornea.

Arcus senilis does not cause blindness.

Causes

It results from cholesterol deposits in or hyalinosis of the corneal stroma and may be associated with ocular defects or with familial hyperlipidemia.

It can be a sign of disturbance in lipid metabolism, an indicator of conditions such as hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipoproteinemia or hyperlipidemia.

Unilateral arcus is a sign of decreased blood flow to the unaffected eye, due to carotid artery disease or ocular hypotony.

People over the age of 60 may present with a ring-shaped, grayish-white deposit of phospholipid and cholesterol near the peripheral edge of the cornea.

Younger people with the same abnormality at the edge of the cornea would be termed arcus juvenilis.

High cholesterol

High cholesterol is more likely associated with a similar gray or white arc visible around the entire cornea, called circumferential arcus, in younger adults. Even then eye findings associated with high cholesterol are uncommon. It typically affects people who have severe cases of high cholesterol and high triglycerides passed down through families.(familial hyperlipidemia). The Treatment is generally aimed at controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The average person who has high cholesterol doesn’t develop an arc of any type.