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Eye and Vision Care

Coloration in the Eye

10/01/2009

Question:

I have noticed that the white of my eye is moving into the brown part of my eye and is forming a circle mostly at the top but is circling the whole color of my eye. I recently had a doctor examine me and said that is was due to choleteral deposits. Can this be so and what can I do about it.

Answer:

I think you are describing corneal arcus, which is a white ring that can form around the edge of your cornea. This ring is actually in front of the brown iris and not a part of it. And if it is corneal arcus, it will never advance into the center part of your eye and cause any blurred vision. 

If you are over age 60, it is probably just a normal aging change, especially if it is in both eyes.  But if you are 40-60 years old and have other cardiovascular risk factors (such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, a positive smoking history, a sedentary life style, etc.), you should be checked for high cholesterol since there are many good drugs on the market now to treat this problem.

If you do have high cholesterol, you are at risk for future strokes and/or heart attacks.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University