Asteroid Hyalosis

These usually unilateral opacities of the vitreous body (75% of all cases) are not all that infrequent. They are thought to be linked to diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolemia. The disorder is characterized by white calcific deposits that are associated with the collagen fibers of the vitreous body and therefore are not very mobile. Most patients are not bothered by these opacities. However, the examiner's view of the fundus can be significantly obscured by "snow flurries" of white opacities. Interestingly, these opacities do not interfere with fluorescein angiography. Vitrectomy to remove the opacities is rarely necessary and is performed only when the opacities adversely affect the patient, i.e., when visual acuity is diminished.

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