Amsler Grid Eye Test for Macular Degeneration Revisted

The Amsler Grid Eye Test for macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the simplist and most effective eye tests for patients to monitor that health of the macula.  The amsler grid eye test is a patter of intersecting lines similar to graph paper with a circular dot in the center. Certain disorders such as macular degeneration and diabetes can lead to distortion of the retina due to damage caused to the macula.  This eye test provides patients an opportunity to monitor their eye health at home, especially in the case of macular degereration.

Macular Degeneration Support Canada has released a version of the amsler grid eye test that people can download and use at home if they are concerned about the health of their macula or if they are at a high risk of being diagnosed with the AMD.

The central black dot on the amsler grid test is used for fixation or a place for the eye to focus.  With normal vision, all lines surrounding this black dot will appear straight, with no portions of the lines missing or distorted.  However, if a person is suffering from and eye disease such as macular degeneration, the lines may appear wavy or distorted.  People who monitor their eye health can detect changes in the lines, having them appear bent, distorted or missing.  New distortion in noticed by the patients may indicate a problem with the macula and patients should seek immediate care from their eye care professional.

Using the Amsler Grid Eye Test is extremely simple.

Patients who wear eye glasses should also wear them while using this eye test and the grid should be held about the same distance away as normal reading material.  It is also important to use the same lighting conditions that would normally be used in well lit room.

To begin, cover one eye and focus on the dot in the center of the Amsler Grid.  Take note of any wavy, broken, blurred or distorted lines.  If all lines appear straight, with all intersections of the lines forming proper right angles, there doesn’t appear to be any problem in that eye associated with eye diseases such as macular degeneration.  Examine the grid for missing areas or dark areas which may also signify a problem with your eye.  Ensure that you can see all corners of the Amsler Grid.  Repeat with the other eye.

It is important to remember that if any lines do not appear straight, or if there are any missing areas on the grid, notify your eye care professional immediately.  It does not necessarily mean that you have macular degeneration or another eye disease, but it could signify a problem.  Using an OCT Test, the eye care doctor will examine the back of the eye (macula) very closely and determine if there is a problem or if there is presence of some eye disease.

Using the Amsler Grid on a regular basis, a patient can monitor their eye health on a regular basis.  This is the simplist of all eye diagnostic tests and can help when