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.”
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).