How To Get The Best Use Out Of Your Amsler Grid

Anyone with Age-Related Macular Degeneration has seen one before, the infamous black and white grid with the tiny black dot in the middle, better known in the ophthalmology world as the Amsler Grid. Many of you may wonder, “What’s the purpose?” or “How do I use it?” Let us help you find answers to these questions.

What Is The Purpose?

  • The Amsler Grid is a tool used by eye doctors to detect vision problems resulting from damage to the macula (the central part of the retina) or the optic nerve.
  • The damage may be caused by macular degeneration or other eye problems.  The Amsler Grid helps in detecting these problems.
  • If you currently have AMD or are at risk, you can use this chart at home to monitor your vision.

How Do I Use It?

  • If you need glasses, please wear them while you use the Amsler grid. You will want the grid to be at about the same distance from your eyes that any other reading material would be.
  • Cover one eye, and then focus on the dot in the center.
  • Take notice, do any of the lines look wavy, blurry or distorted?
    • All lines should be straight, all intersections should form right angles and all squares should be the same size.
  • Are there any missing areas or darks areas?
  • Can you see all corners and sides of the grid?
  • Don’t forget to test both eyes!

If you notice any problems, mark the areas of the grid that you’re not seeing properly and then bring it with you to your eye exam.