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The first line of defense for macular degeneration is awareness.

A simple test of your vision will alert you to any changes that may indicate a problem with macular degeneration or a worsening of your condition. This common test is known as the Amsler Grid.

One of the first signs of macular degeneration can be wavy, broken or distorted lines OR a blurred or missing area of vision. The Amsler Grid can help you spot these early. Early detection of wet AMD is critical because of laser treatment, when indicated, is most successful when performed before damage occurs. Since dry AMD can lead to the development of wet AMD, most patients should use the Amsler Grid. Check with your eye doctor to find out how often you should use this test. You can download this printable version of the Amsler grid for at-home use.

Download the Amsler Grid

Wear your reading glasses, if you normally use them and sit about 14 inches away from the screen.

  • Cover the left eye.
  • With the right eye, focus on the dark dot in the center of the grid.
  • While looking at this dot, you still should be aware of the lines of the grid. Notice if any of the lines are distorted or broken or if there are blurred areas.
  • Now, cover the right eye and repeat the test.
  • If you notice any blurred, wavy or missing lines, contact us as soon as possible.