Cholesterol deposits on the eyes are detected through a visual examination of the skin conducted by a general physician or dermatologist, according to Healthline. The physician may order a blood panel or skin biopsy to confirm the visual evaluation.
Cholesterol deposits that form on the eyes are also known as xanthelasma, a form of xanthoma. While xanthomas found on other areas of the body are indicative of high blood lipid levels, this is not necessarily the case of cholesterol deposits found on the eyes, notes Healthline. About 50 percent of patients with cholesterol spots on the eyes have some blood cholesterol abnormalities that might indicate a risk of heart disease, reports Bobby Buka, MD.
The spots vary in size and appear as flattened yellowish bumps under the skin along the corners of the eye. Xanthelasma is most common among women and older adults. The spots develop slowly over time and typically appear in clusters. A biopsy, performed by a physician, confirms that the bump is a fatty deposit. In rare cases the bumps may become large enough to obstruct vision and must be removed surgically, states Dr. Buka. Surgical removal typically results in scarring of the skin, and the spots generally reappear over time.