Corneal Arcus, formerly called Arcus Senilis, is a whitish ring around the cornea of the eye. (When looking in the mirror, the ring is at the edge of the iris, the colored part of your eye but the cornea is actually on the outside of the eye). It’s a harmless sign of aging in older adults but may be a sign of high cholesterol is people under 40. As part of an eye exam, we check for corneal arcus and also look at the blood vessels of the retina in the back of the eye. Accumulated fat deposits affect the thickness of the vessels and combined with corneal arcus may warrant a letter to the patient’s primary care provider or cardiologist. 

A good guideline for all of us to reduce our risk of coronary heart disease is to decrease our intake of saturated fats, increase our intake of fruits and vegetable and fiber, exercise more and quit smoking. 

Once corneal arcus appears, it will not fade or disappear, even when lowering one’s cholesterol. However ,corneal arcus never affects someone’s vision and again, for most people over forty, poses no danger to their health.