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amsler grid

One of the first tests to confirm a diagnosis of macular degeneration involves asking you to look at an Amsler grid. The grid is made up of vertical and horizontal lines.

If you have macular degeneration, it is likely that some of the lines will appear faded, broken or distorted. By noteing which lines are distorted, or broken, will define the extent of damage to your macula.

As the macula deals with your central field of vision, the lines nearest to the centre of the grid are most likely to appear distorted.
It is important to check your vision regularly (e.g. by looking at an Amsler Grid), using one eye at a time.

When using the test at home, notify you Optometrist if you detect any changes in the appearance of the Amsler Grid.

• Look at centre dot
• Use a bright reading light
• Wear your reading glasses if appropriate
• Hold the chart approximately 14-16 inches from your eye
• Cover one eye
• Note irregularities (wavy, size, grey, fuzzy)
• Repeat the test with your other eye
• Contact Optometrist if you see any irregularities or

To download your own copy of an
Amsler Grid go to:-


How to use an Amsler Grid

A small dot is located in the center of the grid for fixation.
While staring at the dot, look for the following:

• Are you able to see the corners and sides of the square?
• Do you see any wavy lines?
• Are there any holes or missing areas?