An Amsler grid is a useful tool for monitoring your central vision. It is an important way to detect early and sometimes subtle visual changes in a variety of macular diseases such as ARMD (age-related macular degeneration) and diabetic macular oedema. It is also helpful in monitoring changes in vision once they have been detected. With the Amsler grid, each eye is tested seperately by you. This helps you to recognise visual symptoms which are in one eye only.
Instructions for using the Amsler grid
Test your vision with adequate lighting.
Wear your reading glasses or look through the reading portion of your bifocals (if you normally read with spectacles).
With Progressive or Varifocal lenses you may notice some form of distortion. Distortions may occur as a result of the lens design and not your eyes. If you have cause for concern please consult an eye care professional.
- Hold the Amsler grid at normal reading distance (about 35cm).
- Cover one eye at a time with the palm of your hand.
- Stare at the centre dot of the chart at all times.
- Do not let your eye drift from the centre dot.
Determining a problem?
Ask yourself the following questions as you check each eye seperately:
- Are any of the lines crooked or bent?
- Are any of the boxes different in size or shape from the others?
- Are any of the lines wavy, missing, blurry or discoloured?
If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" (and this has not been noticed by you before), you should contact you optometrist as soon as possible for an eye examination.
Remember, with Progressive or Varifocal lenses you may notice some form of distortion. Distortions may occur as a result of the lens design and not your eyes. If you have a cause for concern please consult an eye care professional.
Examples of distorted grids