The Amsler Grid testis a simple screening test used to assess the area in the back of the eye that is responsible for your most detailed vision (used for reading, seeing facial details etc). This area is called the Maculaand it is located in the center part of the retina (the nerve lining inside the eye – used for sight).
If there are any diseases or degenerations (like Macular Degeneration) that are affecting the Macula – then the Amsler grid test will usually provide early detection that there may be a problem going on.
HOW TO USE THE AMSLER GRID:
Position yourself at about 14-16 inches (about 40 cm) away from the grid.
If you have glasses that you use to read with – make sure you are looking thru the reading part of your glasses
Cover the left eye and use only your right eye to see the grid.
Stare at the white dot in the center of the grid with your uncovered eye. Keep your eye focused on the dot. Don’t move your eyes around to see any other part of the grid except for the white dot. Use your side vision (peripheral vision) to see all the other parts of the grid. “Glue” your sight to that white dot – don’t move your eye around at all.
While staring at the white dot:
Can you see all 4 corners of the grid?
Can you see all 4 sides of the grid?
Are any of the lines WAVY or MISSING or DISTORTED? (All lines should look perfectly straight, all intersections should form right angles and all the squares should be the same size.)
Are ther any holes or “missing areas” in the grid?
Then cover the right eye and repeat the steps with using the left eye to see the grid.
If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions then you need to see your eye doctor immediately. The eye doctor will examine the back of your eye and your macula VERY closely to determine if there are any medical issues causing these changes on the Amsler Grid test.
If you have been told that you have macular degeneration or any other macular disorder, you should be doing the Amsler Grid test at home DAILY.
The Amsler Grid is a great way to monitor your macular health but you should always have yearly eye examinations with dilation when dictated by your doctor.
This kind of diabetic pathology is caused when elevated blood glucose (blood sugar) damages the blood vessels in the retina – causing bleeding and fluid build up in and around the retina. Blood sugar is monitored via blood glucose testing and Glycosylated Hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing (which tells the primary care doctor the average blood glucose in someone’s blood for the past few months – not just the glucose reading on the day of the testing).
Therefore, it is essential for diabetics to have a comprehensive eye examination at least every 12 months – even if their blood sugar is under control. A comprehensive examination should include a dilated eye exam with retinal imaging (digital retinal photography) to document the presence or absence of any diabetic retinopathy. Retinal photography is essential to pick up and document any subtle diabetic changes in the retina from year to year.