Issue Description Asteroid hyalosis is a degenerative condition
of the eye involving small white opacities in the vitreous humor.
Clinically, these opacities are quite refractile, giving the
appearance of stars (or asteroids) shining in the night sky -- except
that ocular asteroids are often quite mobile. Ocular asteroids must be
distinguished from the more common typical vitreous floaters, which
are usually fibrillar or cellular condensates.
Causes In dogs, asteroid hyalosis is considered to be
an age related change.
Symptoms The asteroid bodies are made up of
hydroxylapatite, which in turn consists of calcium and phosphates or
phospholipids. While asteroid hyalosis does not usually severely
affect vision, the floating opacities can be quite annoying, and may
interfere significantly with visualization and testing of the retina.
Treatment While treatment of asteroid hyalosis is usually
unnecessary, vitrectomy may occasionally be indicated, for both
diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.