Below is a photograph of a retinal embolus in a right eye retina arteriole of a 68 year old woman. This patient has not been to her doctor in years. She also had corneal arcus, which is cholesterol deposits on the cornea. She is not being treated for high cholesterol.
Retinal emboli are loose pieces of plaque that travel in the blood stream until the artery diameter becomes smaller than the embolus. There the embolus stops and often will plug up the artery, causing death of the tissue that the artery serves. This is what occurs in strokes and heart attacks. Emboli that get deposited
This patient had no symptoms that something was going wrong with her cardiovascular system. It is so important that people over 55 years old have their regular visits with their primary care providers.