Amsler Grid: Test For Macular Degeneration Or Other Vision Problems

Amsler Grid

The Amsler grid is a tool that eye doctors use to detect vision problems resulting from damage to the macula(the central part of the retina) or the optic nerve.

The damage may be caused by macular degeneration or other eye diseases, so the Amsler grid is useful in detecting these problems.

An early diagnosis means early treatment, so it may help to limit or at least slow the vision loss you experience.

If you are at risk for macular degeneration or other eye diseases, you can use this chart at home to monitor your vision. But using the chart doesn't mean you should skip regular visits to your eye doctor, because you can easily miss signs that only a trained eye care practitioner will find.

The chart below is an approximation of the printed chart used by eye doctors. For more accurate detection of macular damage, you will need a complete eye exam.

Click Here to download this printable image of the Amsler grid for your home use.

How To Test Your Eyes with This Amsler Grid
• Print this page on bright white paper (heavy stock if possible).
• Test your eyes under normal room lighting used for reading.
• Wear the eyeglasses you normally wear for reading. 
• Hold the grid approximately 14 to 16 inches from your eyes.
• Test each eye separately: Cup your hand over one eye while testing the other eye.
• Keep your eye focused on the dot in the center of the grid and answer these questions:
1. Do any of the lines in the grid appear wavy, blurred or distorted?
2. Do all the boxes in the grid look square and the same size?
3. Are there any “holes” (missing areas) or dark areas in the grid?
4. Can you see all corners and sides of the grid (while keeping your eye on the central dot)?
• Switch to the other eye and repeat.
IMPORTANT – Report any irregularities to your eye doctor immediately: Mark areas of the chart you’re not seeing properly (print two charts if you notice problems in each eye) and bring it with you when you visit your doctor.