People over the age of 50 should test for symptoms of macular degeneration at home once a week using an Amsler grid.
Those already diagnosed with macular degeneration (or early signs of the disease) should use the Amsler grid every day.
The Amsler grid is an essential, ‘easy to use’ self-monitoring tool that can detect changes in your vision. This card has a printed grid with a dot right at its centre and a magnet on the back so that it can be affixed to your fridge.
How to use the Amsler grid:
- Wear the glasses or contact lenses you normally use for reading
- Hold the Amsler grid at normal reading distance in a well-lit room
- Fully cover one eye then use the uncovered eye to focus on the centre dot
- Repeat the process with the other eye.
When used in this way, one eye at a time, potential issues can be identified in individual eyes. These changes may include distortion of lines – for example, straight lines may appear wavy or bent. Additionally, dark or empty spaces may appear.
The Amsler grid should not be relied upon for medical diagnosis. Any sudden changes in vision noticed while using an Amsler grid should be reported immediately to the eye health professional.
Order your free Amsler grid
A free magnetised Amsler grid is available from Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA).
We also provide three levels of Macular Degeneration Information Kits. These all include a magnetised Amsler grid and can be ordered online following the links below.
You can also contact MDFA on National Helpline: 1800 111 709