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Asteroid Hyalosis | Common Floaters of the Vitreous

Asteroid hyalosis is a common finding of the vitreous.   As you can see in beginning of the video, the “asteroid bodies” are creamy white flecks suspended in the vitreous.

Asteroid Hyalosis is Benign

The exact cause of asteroid hyalosis is not known and does not appear to be associated with any particular systemic disease though there may be an association with aging.


My experience has been that asteroid hyalosis is a benign finding and not associated with either systemic or eye disease.  As you are able to see in this video, the flecks really move around as they are suspended in the vitreous.

Curiously, in most cases, patients with asteroid hyalosis are completely unaware of the condition, that is, the flecks, or asteroid bodies, do not cause any problems with vision.  Patients usually do NOT complain of floaters.

Asteroid and Floaters

I included this video really to demonstrate the appearance of asteroid hyalosis.  If you listen and watch the video, this patient has been complaining of floaters for many years.  There is no real way to determine if what he is seeing is the asteroid hyalosis or “normal” floaters.

Regardless of what the cause, the floaters had been bothering him for quite a while.  Anything which moves back and forth with eye movement has to be related to the vitreous, hence, a vitrectomy should remove the opacities, aka “floaters.”

Induce PVD

Toward the end of the video, I “induce” or cause a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).  I inject Kenalog to help me see remaining vitreous.  Unfortunately, the Kenalog is a suspension and is the same color as the asteroid hyalosis.

Though a bit difficult to see, the posterior portion of the vitreous lifts up toward the front of the eye when the PVD is successfully created.

In conclusion, I operated on this patient who had been complaining of longstanding floaters and, as an incidental finding, had floaters (not necessarily from the asteroid).


Randall Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist
Fairfax, Virginia 22031


Currently, I see patients with retinal diseases; macular degeneration, retinal detachment, macular holes, macular pucker within several different's a different arrangement, but it allows more continuous care with many eye specialists. In addition, I am very accessible via the web. To schedule your own appointment, call any of the numbers below.

Virginia Lasik | Office of Anh Nguyen, M.D.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Contact: Layla

A: 431 Park Avenue, Suite 103 • Falls Church, Virginia 22046
Ph: 703.534. 4393
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Dressler Ophthalmology Associates, PLC
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Contact: Ashley (Surgery/Web)
Chrissy Megargee (Web)

A: 3930 Pender Drive, Suite 10 • Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Ph: 703.273.2398
F: 703.273.0239
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