The amsler grid is an easy screening test that can be performed at home. It is used to screen for changes in the macula, a specialized part of the retina responsible for our best, central vision. Although it can be used for any problem affecting the central visual field, it is most commonly used for macular degeneration patients. The test consists of gazing at a grid containing several rows of horizontal and vertical lines with a dot in the middle. By fixating on the center dot, one actually screens their central visual field. The Amsler grid test should be performed on one eye at a time, covering the other eye with your hand. Wear your normal reading prescription glasses or bifocals when performing the test. While staring at the center fixation dot, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I able to see the corners and sides of the square?
- Do I see any wavy lines or distortions?
- Are there any holes or missing areas?
Repeat this test by mentally comparing your findings to the previous time it was performed. If you see changes since the last time, call your eye care professional and report that you have seen some changes in your Amsler grid testing.