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My mom went to an Ophthalmologist, he told her she has

cholesterol build-up behind one or...
My mom went to an Ophthalmologist, he told her she has cholesterol build-up behind one or both eyes, he told her if a blood clot would break free it could kill her if it went to her brain, stroke.. Trouble is he didn't tell her what treatment she needed to take care of this, he just told her he would see her in 6 months. He gave her Aerds 2, and told her to be sure to take them twice a day. What treatment should she have? She is 77 years old, she is a smoker, been trying to get her to quit. She does take cholesterol medication Zitia & Zocor every day she has for years.
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
6/14/2017
Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 12,079
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi. I'm Dr. Rick and I have two decades of ophthalmology and retina surgery experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

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Did he say they were hollenhorst plaques? As a retina surgeon I come across them fairly often.

AREDS 2 vitamins are not indicated in this condition.....not sure what this ophthalmologist saw....

Was this an ophthalmologist (Eye MD) and not an optometrist (OD)?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
She said he was a specialist from Pittsburgh, and EYE MD, her regular OD sent her. She said he only said it was cholesterol build up, that's all he told her.
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
That the build-up could break free, and could go to her brain blood clot.

Hm.....I'm sorry. That dosn't make sense.

Any chance of getting a copy of the ophthalmologists notes for review? I could give you much better idea of what is going on if I can see his notes.

Saying that "That the build-up could break free, and could go to her brain blood clot." and then telling her to take AREDS vitamins just does not make sense. I think we are missing something here....

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
He didn't give her anything no paper work, he faxed it to her DR. the information to get a sonogram of her neck. That info is all I know that is all she told me. I gave the office a call, and he was suppose to call me so I could talk to him, but he never called me back.
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
She has severe dry macular degeneration I'm guessing that is why he told her to take the Aerds 2

Ok The sonogram of the neck makes more sense. Perhaps she has two things going on:

Hollenhorst plaque (cholesterol/brain clot risk)

Dry age related macular degeneration (The AREDS pills)

So. What doe she need to do?

Find out the results of the carotid ultrasound and if she needs surgery on her neck

Take the AREDS as directed.

Probably should have ALL of her eye care done by and ophthalmologist, and not an OD, from now on.

She doesn't have to do anything else at this point.

Make sense to you?

I am happy to be able to help you today. If you would be so kind, please help me get credit for my efforts in answering your questions and press the excellent feedback button for this encounter. And, don’t forget, I work for tips. I would also be happy to continue to answer any more questions you have until we have resolved your concern.

Dr. Rick MD FACS

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Sonogram ultrasound came back okay, but that still doesn't answer my question what is the treatment for the build up of cholesterol? I mean he didn't tell her to have any kind of treatment nor did her DR. the risk is still there of a blood clot going to her brain. That's why i came here to find out what can be done.

There is no treatment. When it gets bad enough and chunks are flaking off (called hollenhorst plaques) and causing mini strokes/TIAs then the risk of surgery (carotid endarterectomy) is lower then the risks of doing nothing and surgery is recommended.

Until, and if, that point comes there is -- unfortunately -- nothing that needs to be, or can be, done.

Make sense to you?

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 12,079
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Honestly no this doesn't make sense to me at all, I thought she could take something for the cholesterol buildup besides the Zitia & Zocor. I'm sorry your answer it's clear to me.
Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Isn't clear to me.

There is nothing that can be done to remove the cholesterol plaques that are already there and no new treatment that she can take to make any significant impact on reducing new cholesterol forming....

So. In a nutshell:

She is doing all that can be done.

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