The Amsler Grid
The Amsler grid is used to monitor your central visual field. It’s commonly used to detect and diagnose visual disturbances caused by changes in the retina. In particular, the grid is used to detect early signs of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The Amsler grid can also detect problems with the optic nerve and in the visual pathway to the brain.
To use the grid:
1. Wear your reading glasses and hold this grid 12 to 15 inches away from your face in good light.
2. Cover one eye.
3. Look directly at the center dot with the uncovered eye.
4. While looking directly at the center dot, note whether all lines of the grid are straight or if any areas are distorted, blurred or dark.
5. Repeat this procedure with the other eye.
6. If any area of the grid looks wavy, blurred or dark, contact your ophthalmologist immediately.
Note: The Amsler Grid is not a substitute for regularly scheduled eye exams, which should take place at least once every two years, and at least once a year after the age of 50. (You may need them even more often depending on your risk factors for AMD.)