The Amsler Grid
What is it?
The Amsler Grid was developed decades ago by the Swiss ophthalmologist Marc Amslwer (1891-1968). The Amsler Grid tests the condition of the center of the retina or "macula." It is a good test for screening for the development of "wet" macular degeneration or patients with "dry" macular degeneration. Early detection is important because, the worse your macular degeneration gets, and the larger the area of leakage becomes, and it becomes harder to treat you.
Instructions on using the Amsler Grid:
- Test your vision with adequate lighting
- Test only one eye at a time. Cover the other eye.
- Wear your reading glasses or look through the reading portion of your bifocals (if you normally read with glasses).
- Hold the grid at normal reading distance (about 14 inches).
- You must keep your eye on the center dot at all times.
- Note any blank areas, wavy lines, darker areas.
- Test the other eye in the same manner.
- Mark the date on your Amsler Grid test.
- All of the lines should be straight and the squares of a uniform size.
- If you note any changes in the appearance of the grid, such as distortion, blurring, discoloration, dark or missing areas of the grid, or any other changes, call and see your eye doctor immediately. Do not wait to see if the changes will clear on their own. Timely treatment is vital to safeguarding your vision.
- Remember that the Amsler Grid is not a substitute for regularly scheduled eye exams/tests, which should take place at least once every two years, especially after the age of 40.
This is one example of an abnormal Amsler Grid test: