Amsler Grid - Retina-Vitreous Surgeons of CNY
Change Text Size   

Amsler Grid

Detect changes in your vision with this simple test.

What is an Amsler grid?

The Amsler grid is an at-home test that can help detect changes in the central vision. It is helpful in following the progress of any disease in the macula, the part of the eye responsible for central vision. This is a commonly used test to monitor macular degeneration.

How is an Amsler test done?

Test each eye on a daily basis to detect early changes in vision. Use the Amsler grid in the same way each time you test your vision. If you normally wear reading glasses, please wear them while performing this test. Good lighting is essential.

1) Hold the Amsler grid at a normal reading distance.
2) Test each eye separately. Close one eye or cover it with your hand
3) Look at the dot in the center of the grid. You should not look away from this point at any time during testing.
4) While staring at the dot, ask yourself:
• Can I see the four corners of the grid?
• Are all the lines straight and normal looking or are they blurred, distorted or missing?
5) Check the other eye in a similar manner.

Click here for a printer-friendly version

What should I do if I detect an abnormality?

First, double check by re-testing as described above. If the abnormality is new or there is a significant change in the vision call RVS. Also, do not ignore other visual disturbances such as new spots, blurring or smudgy areas within the central area of your vision, even if the Amsler grid shows no distortion. Please report any of these changes promptly.

What may the abnormalities look like on the Amsler grid?

Most often the lines of the Amsler grid can begin to appear distorted or wavy (see below).