Macular Degeneration Grid

The macular degeneration grid, better known as the Amsler grid, is an eye test that helps to detect changes in your vision. It is a test that one can do from home.

According to Dr. Lylas Mogk, retina specialist and author of Macular Degeneration: The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing Your Sight,

"Early detection of wet macular degeneration is necessary for laser to be effective...the best way to detect these leaky blood vessels early is to monitor your vision regularly with an Amsler grid."

Amsler Grid

This macular degeneration test is for you to use at home to monitor any vision changes. By looking at the Amsler grid, with one eye, you can check to see if there is any changes in the way you see the grid.

macular degeneration grid

Some of the things you would look for are:

√ Wavy Lines, crooked or distorted lines

√ Dark Spots or holes on the grid

√ Blurriness

By noticing any changes in how the grid appears, you may be able to detect any new blood vessel growth in the macula lutea.

Early detection of leaking blood vessels will allow your physician to treat them with laser. For laser treatment to be effective, early detection of wet macular degeneration is critical.

Patients who have the dry form of macular degeneration should regularly check their vision, as it can develop into the wet form.

If you do notice any changes in your vision, contact your eye care specialist right away.

How to Use the Amsler Grid

1. Wear your regular reading glasses

2. Use the same lighting each time

3. Hold the Amsler grid at arms length

4. Cover one eye.

5. With the uncovered eye, stare at the black dot in the center of the grid.

6. You should be able to see the center black dot and the four corners and sides of the grid. The lines should appear to be straight and continuous from top to bottom and side to side.

7. Now test your other eye.

If you notice any wavy lines, dark spots or distortions contact your ophthalmologist immediately.


Your physician may use this macular degeneration test during your eye exam.

There is no one test, but rather several exams a physician will use to diagnose macular degeneration.

Become familiar with them so that when you do have your next eye exam you will be prepared with questions to ask your physician to see if you have any early signs of age related macular degeneration.



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