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.
Using this 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.
How To Test Yourself with the Amsler Grid
If you need reading glasses, please wear them while you use the Amsler grid. If you wear bifocals, please look through the reading portion of your bifocals. The grid should be at about the same distance from your eyes that any other reading material would be (about 14 inches).
Test your vision with adequate lighting.
If you would like to have a copy of this chart, please click here view the grid and select File -> Print.
Cover one eye at a time with the palm of your hand, then focus on the dot in the center of the chart at all times:
- Do any of the lines look wavy, blurred, discolored or distorted? (All lines should be straight, all intersections should form right angles and all the squares should be the same size.)
- Are any of the lines crooked or bent?
- Are there any missing areas or dark areas in the grid?
- Are any of the boxes different in size or shape from the others?
- Can you see all corners and sides of the grid?
- Don't forget to test both eyes.
If you answer to any of these questions is "yes" (and this is a new finding for you), you should contact MidWest EyeCenter IMMEDIATELY to schedule an examination 1-800-385-EYES(3937). These changes may indicate a serious condition such as leakage or bleeding in the back of the eye causing swelling of the retina.
VERY IMPORTANT: Report any irregularity to your eye doctor immediately.
**You can mark areas of the chart that you're not seeing properly and bring it with you to your eye exam**
Nothing contained on this website should be construed nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Should you have any healthcare related questions, please call or see your physician.