A mysterious condition that makes human eyes sparkle like a galaxy A mysterious condition that makes human eyes sparkle like a galaxy

A mysterious condition that makes human eyes sparkle like a galaxy

A mysterious condition that makes human eyes sparkle like a galaxy
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A team of scientists has uncovered a relatively common condition that causes the eye to appear like a "galaxy" containing a night sky full of stars.

No one knows why the age-related condition, called asteroid hydrolysis (AH), occurs in only some individuals, let alone what it might reveal about a person's overall health.

Various studies estimate that AH affects about 1 to 2 in 100 people. The condition itself rarely causes vision problems (although it may make diagnosing other eye conditions difficult), and usually appears gradually.

"Stellar fragments" are an accumulation of substances, often calcium, in the vitreous fluid or gel-like fluid in the eye, which makes up the bulk of the eye's structure and is located between the retina in the back and the lens in the front.
As we age, debris from infection, inflammation and bleeding can accumulate in the vitreous fluid, causing floaters, which can appear as dark, bumpy spots in a person's eyes.

It is unclear whether AH is linked to other health conditions, as it appears to occur without inflammation, and some experts believe it is linked to blood vessel problems or problems with cell recycling.

There are contradictory opinions about the association of AH with microvascular degenerative mechanisms amidst metabolic dysfunction and coronary artery disease, given commonly identified co-risk factors such as age, hypertension, and diabetes. 

Experts speculated that “AH may actually represent a final common pathway of multiple clinical conditions and risk factors.”

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