Save your Sight with an Amsler Grid: Free macular degeneration test
Macular degeneration (age related macular degeneration) is the leading cause of blindness in Australia. It is possible to reduce the risk of losing sight from macular degeneration by living a healthy lifestyle and having your macula checked regularly by an eye health professional.
The Amsler grid is an easy to use self- monitoring tool that can detect changes in your vision. The changes in your vision may be signs of macular degeneration or other eye diseases. The Amsler grid has a printed grid with a dot in the center.
If you’re at risk for macular degeneration or other eye diseases, or over the age of 50, you can use the chart once a week at home to monitor your vision. Early detection means early treatment.
Macular Disease Foundation Australian advise people that have been diagnosed with early signs of macular degeneration to use the Amsler Grid every day to determine any deterioration.
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 – straight lines may appear wavy or bent. Additionally, dark or empty spaces may appear.
The Amsler grid should not be used in place of seeking advice from a medical professional. It should be used to detect early changes that should then be immediately reported to your eye doctor. Your doctor will then perform a comprehensive eye exam.
You can request an Amsler grid from your eye doctor or order a free Amsler grid from Macular Disease Foundation Australia.
You can contact the Macular Disease Foundation Australia on the National Helpline: 1800 111 709 and Focus Eye Centre on (02) 9663 3927 for more information.