Age-related macular degeneration (AMD ) can happen to anyone at any age. However, if you’re over 60, have a family history of AMD, are Caucasian, or a smoker your risks factor of getting AMD is much higher. The first line of defense against AMD is awareness. Many times AMD is slow progressing without any pain and symptoms can be tough to notice. A simple test called an “Amsler Grid” can help alert you if your vision might indicate a problem or changes with your macula, i.e., AMD.
The Amsler Grid is a simple white background with lines through it. Sometimes it could be a black background with white lines. You can download your copy of the Amsler Grid by clicking HERE.
On of the first signs of AMD is wavy or distorted lines or blurred or missing central vision. The Amsler Grid is designed to help you discover these symptoms early. Early detection is the key to catching the damage so treatment can start before more damage occurs.
How to use the Amsler Grid:
- Wear your reading glasses or bifocals as normal and hold the piece of paper or look at the screen from about 14 inches away.
- Cover your left eye
- Use your right eye to focus on the dark dot in the center of the grid.
- While focused on the center dot, make note of any lines that appear distorted or blurred.
- Now cover your right eye and repeat the test.
If you notice any wavy or distorted lines or any blurred areas, alert your eye doctor immediately.
NOTE: The Amsler Grid is designed for early detection and does not replace the need for an annual dilated eye exam performed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.