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Amsler Grid


One of the easiest ways to screen for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is to use an Amsler grid. An Amsler grid is a chart with lines and a dot at the center. Your doctor can give you one to use at home.

If you have dry AMD, check your vision in each eye every day or as often as your doctor advises. It only takes a few seconds.

Picture of a normal Amsler grid

Cover one eye. Then, using your other eye, look at the first grid. Repeat with the opposite eye covered. Call your doctor immediately if you see either of the following:

  • Lines that appear wavy and curved
  • A blank or dark spot—other than the center dot—in the middle of the grid

In the second grid, the lines around the center are wavy and distorted. This is one example of how the straight lines in the grid above might appear to someone with macular degeneration.

Picture of an Amsler grid with distortion

The distortion or blind spot (scotoma) you actually see may be different from what is shown in the grid picture.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerSteven T. Charles, MD - Ophthalmology
Last RevisedJuly 20, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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