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A ‘ring’ around the eyes linked to diabetes

This study had me racing to the nearest mirror to have a really good look at my eyes. All OK here! :)

An eye condition that can easily be seen in eye exams can help to identify the development of diabetes and high blood pressure and cholesterol, according to a new study.

The eye condition called corneal arcus is characterized by a grayish-white ring around the cornea.

What is the corneal arcus ring?

The eye condition corneal arcus is seen as a white or gray opaque ring around the edge of the cornea, or colored part of the eye. You can see the arrows pointing to it in the picture of the eye below.

Image courtesy of Cardiff University.

The eye condition study

Researchers studied 2,000 patients between April and September 2008. They assessed the patients eyes, as well as health risks such as, blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels.

A high 98% of study participants who had a grayish-white ring around the cornea also had metabolic problems related to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Follow-up testing showed:

  • 88% of the patients with corneal arcus had high blood sugar.
  • 66% had an elevated body mass index (BMI).
  • 64% had high blood pressure.
  • 21% had high cholesterol.

Lead researcher, Dr. Steven Leichter said, “This study demonstrates how comprehensive eye exams should be used as a screening for prevalent metabolic conditions.”

The study was conducted by VSP and the Columbus Research Foundation in Columbus.

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5 Responses to “A ring around the eye linked to diabetes”

  1. arta says:

    Since last summer i have had this white ring around my iris which at first i didnt even recognize. My left eyes ring goes all around but on my right eye its just a quarter of the eye.
    I did go to the opthomologist which suggested i get my blood tests done such as choloesterol, lipid profile and so on and everything came out fine.
    Everything i have searched and read suggests that is due to fatty deposits, high cholesterol and so on, but all of them came normal on my blood results. I am just going crazy here googling everything and i dont find an answer.
    I just need someones help here.


    • Steve says:

      Hi Arta,

      > I am just going crazy here googling everything and i
      > dont find an answer.
      I just need someones help here.

      I am sorry but all the information we have on this is in the article above, and in the study that Kellie linked to:

      I hope you find the answers that you are looking for. If anybody comes across this in the futur,e and leaves more information, I can e-mail it through to you if you like.

      Sorry I could not be of more help.

  2. Joyce says:

    I also have a white ring around my eye had my blood sugar checked it came back ok how can high blood pressure cause this? Thankyou

  3. Kevin says:

    I recently encountered an article regarding this white ring build up in the eye. The article said that its cholesterol build up. Maybe controling your cholesterol in-take will be helpful.

  4. Sarah says:

    I’ve also had a white rim around my eye my whole life – now in 40’s & I’ve never been really overweight & have low blood sugar, low cholesterol and am in good health

bottom KellieMyHS

About Kellie

Kellie is 37 years old and together with her brother Steve makes up the My Health Software team.

She helps on the websites and gathering news for the programs. Kellie worked in the medical industry prior to having her two children (8 and 6) and has a strong interest in self awareness and management of health conditions.


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