Asteroid Hyalosis

Asteroid Hyalosis © 2019 American Academy of Ophthalmology

Asteroid Hyalosis



Asteroid Hyalosis is a primarily degenerative condition of the vitreous humor. It is mainly occur in old age and male more than female. It is a unilateral disorder which means it affects one eye only but it can both eyes in less than 10%.

It is called asteroid because it consists of multiple small opacities that appear clinically as refractile creamy white to yellow particles, giving the appearance of stars (or asteroids) shining in the night sky. These particles will move within the vitreous with each eye movement eye movement but they always return to their original position.

Asteroid bodies are made of hydroxylapatite, which consists of calcium and phosphates or phospholipids which attached to hyaluronic acid of the vitreous.


Causes of Asteroid Hyalosis

The cause or etiology is unknown but they found that it is associated more in patients with diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerotic vascular disease.



Signs and Symptoms of Asteroid Hyalosis

This disorder is asymptomatic and rarely it causes eye floaters. Although it is asymptomatic, it can cause difficulties for your eye doctor to examine and view your fundus because it can obscure details of the fundus.


Treatment of Asteroid Hyalosis

This disorder is asymptomatic and it doesn’t require any treatment. Surgical treatment can only be considered when there is poor visualization of the retina and there are diagnostic and therapeutic indications of the retina. Vitrectomy is indicated in this case.


Differential Diagnosis

•  Synchisis scintillans (cholesterol bulbi) is a rare condition that presents with refractile crystals in the vitreous. These small crystals are composed of cholesterol. These small particles tend to settle down inferiorly, at the bottom of the vitreous after each eye movement.

•  Amyloidosis of the vitreous is a bilateral involvement of the vitreous with granular, strand-like opacities. Sometimes these strands attached to the posterior surface of the lens surface.



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