What is an Amsler Grid?

An Amsler grid is a simple tool that’s used to monitor and/or help diagnose age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As the name suggests, this is a disease that can affect you as you get older.

Using an Amsler grid each day can help you monitor the progress of AMD and give you the head’s up to seek professional help when it’s needed.

The Whys and Wherefores of an Amsler Grid

  • Amsler grid: simple, effective, and sight-saving
  • How to use an Amsler grid

Amsler grid: simple, effective, and sight-saving

The macular is a tiny area of the retina at the back of the eye that’s responsible for central vision. Over time, deposits of a fatty protein (called drusen) can form beneath the macular, causing it to stop working correctly. This happens very slowly, meaning that sufferers aren’t aware of how much their vision is deteriorating.

Enter the Amsler grid. This is a simple set of straight black lines on a white background that forms a grid of squares. In the center is a large black dot. You can purchase a grid, get one from your eye doctor, or make one yourself.

How to use an Amsler grid

The grid is a very simple tool to use. Once a day, do the following:

  • Wear any glasses or visual aids that you usually do.
  • Sit in a well-lit location
  • Cover one eye with your hand
  • Hold the grid 12”-15” away from your face and look at the center dot
  • Take note of your side vision—do the lines appear straight and true or are any wavy, blurred, dark, or blank?
  • Repeat with the other eye

If you notice any distortion of the lines, then you should call your ophthalmologist at the earliest opportunity.

Is an Amsler Grid for Self-Diagnosing Macular Degeneration?

  • AMD diagnosis

AMD diagnosis

Self-diagnosis isn’t something that’s recommended. Using an Amsler grid if you’ve been diagnosed with AMD is good practice. In fact, your eye doctor will recommend it. Daily use is the ideal way to monitor the condition and provide a warning if the disease is progressing.

If you don’t suffer from the disease, it can still be a good idea for anyone over the age of 50 to make use of an Amsler grid. However, if you do notice any vision distortion, you shouldn’t automatically assume that you’ve developed AMD. There could be any number of reasons why you’re having a problem viewing the lines on the grid. However, it would be a red flag that you should seek professional help straight away.

The key to great eye heath, no matter what your age or pre-existing conditions, is regular eye examinations. That way you can be sure that any issues will be diagnosed promptly, and that treatment can be instigated at the earliest opportunity.

Don’t Self-Diagnose Macular Degeneration. Ensure Your Best Eye Health with Regular Checks at the WBEC

While using an Amsler grid at home can certainly provide you with a warning that you need to seek help from an eye doctor, nothing benefits your eyesight more than regular eye checks—no matter what your age.

At the West Boca Eye Center, our patients benefit from the ultimate in vision expertise. Headed by renowned ophthalmologist, Dr. Brent Bellotte, the team is one of the best in the world in the treatment of AMD (and everything else that is vision related). No matter how many birthdays you’ve celebrated, it’s never too early or late to look after your precious eyesight.

Find out more about the cutting-edge range of AMD treatments at

https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/macular-degeneration/ and call today to book a consultation.