The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of flaxseed on choroid–sclera complex thickness and on LDL oxidation in the sclera, choroid and retina of diet-induced hypercholesterolaemic rabbits. New Zealand male albino rabbits (n 21) were divided into two groups: group 1 (G1; n 11), fed a hypercholesterolaemic diet, and group 2 (G2; n 10), fed a hypercholesterolaemic diet enriched with flaxseed flour. The serum concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL-cholesterol, TAG and fasting blood glucose were determined at the start of the experiment and on the day of killing (8th week). Choroid and sclera samples were subjected to haematoxylin–eosin (HE) staining and histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analyses with the anti-oxidised LDL antibody. Sensory retina samples were subjected to an immunohistochemical analysis with the primary monoclonal nitrotyrosine antibody. At the end of the experiment, a significant increase was observed in TC and LDL-C concentrations in G1 rabbits when compared with G2 rabbits (P= 0·008 and P= 0·02, respectively). HE staining revealed a significant increase in choroid–sclera complex thickness in G1 rabbits when compared with G2 rabbits (P< 0·001). Immunohistochemical analysis of choroid and sclera samples with the anti-oxidised LDL marker revealed a significant increase in immunoreactivity in G1 rabbits when compared with G2 rabbits (P< 0·001). Immunohistochemical analysis of sensory retina samples with the anti-nitrotyrosine marker revealed a significant increase in immunoreactivity in G1 rabbits when compared with G2 rabbits (P= 0·002). Flaxseed reduced the choroid–sclera complex thickness of diet-induced hypercholesterolaemic rabbits and the expression of oxidised LDL in the choroid–sclera complex as well as the expression of nitrotyrosine in the sensory retina.