Background: Asteroid hyalosis is a common degenerative process that occurs when calcium pyrophosphate particles, or calcium phosphate soaps, collect within the gel portion of the vitreous. These particles attach to collagen fibrils within an otherwise normal vitreous. Upon examination, it appears as numerous tiny, round, yellow-white opacities of various sizes and density. The particles move within the vitreous during eye movements; however, they do not settle inferiorly when the eye is stationary. In 75% of patients, only one eye is affected. Ultrasonography as well as OCT show high reflectivity foci.
Associations: Diabetes has a suggested association with asteroid hyalosis; however, this correlation is unproven. The prevalence of this condition increases with age. Asteroid hyalosis occurs in 0.5% of the population over 60 years old. Additionally, this condition affects 3% of the elderly aged 75-86 years old. There is also a stronger association with men verses women.
Treatment: Asteroid hyalosis rarely causes visual problems, and the majority of patients presenting with asteroid are asymptomatic. It doesn’t interfere with vision or cause floaters.
1. Bowling, B., & Kanski, J. J. (2016). Kanski’s Clinical Ophthalmology : a Systematic Approach (8th ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier.