How to test vision using an Amsler grid

An Amsler grid is a chart with horizontal and vertical lines that form boxes. It has a dot in the center. An Amsler grid is one of the easiest ways to screen for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Your doctor may give you an Amsler grid to use at home.

Normal Amsler grid

If you usually wear reading glasses, put them on, and place the grid a normal reading distance from your face.

  • Cover your right eye.
  • With your left eye, look at the grid. Focus on the dot in the center, but pay attention to the lines around it.
  • Repeat with the left eye covered and the right eye focused on the dot.

Call your doctor immediately if you see any lines that appear wavy, blurry, or broken.

The grid below shows one example of how the straight lines in the grid above might look wavy to someone with macular degeneration.

Amsler grid with wavy lines

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology

Current as ofMarch 3, 2017

Current as of: March 3, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology