The Amsler grid is a tool that eye doctors use to discover vision problems arising from damage to the macula (the main part of the retina) or the optic nerve. The damage might be caused by macular degeneration or other eye diseases, so the Amsler grid works in finding these issues.
Amsler Grid Test for Macular Degeneration
An early diagnosis means early treatment, so it may assist to restrict or a minimum of slow the vision loss you experience.
If you are at risk for macular degeneration or other eye diseases, you can use this chart at home to monitor your vision. But using the chart does not mean you must skip regular visits to your optometrist, since you can quickly miss signs that only a trained eye care specialist will discover.
The chart below is an approximation of the printed chart used by eye doctors. For more accurate detection of macular damage, you will need a complete eye examination.
You can download Amsler Grid from here in PDF format for home use.
How To Do The Amsler Grid Test
Checking your eyes with an Amsler grid is simple and takes just a few minutes. Here are the basic actions:
1. Test your eyes under normal space lighting used for reading.
2. Use glasses you usually use for reading (even if you use only store-bought reading glasses.
3. Hold the Amsler grid roughly 14 to 16 inches from your eyes.
4. Test each eye independently: Cup your turn over one eye while testing the other eye.
5. Keep your eye focused on the dot in the center of the grid and address these questions:
- Do any of the lines in the grid appear wavy, blurred or misshaped?
- Do all packages in the grid look square and the same size?
- Are there any “holes” (missing out on areas) or dark areas in the grid?
- Can you see all corners and sides of the grid (while keeping your eye on the main dot)?
6. Change to the other eye and repeat.
IMPORTANT: Report any abnormalities to your optometrist right away. Mark areas of the Amsler grid that you’re not seeing correctly (print two grids if you observe issues in each eye), and bring the grid(s) with you when you visit your optometrist.
Examine your eyes with the Amsler grid as often as your doctor suggests, or whenever you observe a significant change in your eyesight.