This test is used to assess the central portion of the retina called the macula. It is simple and especially helpful for monitoring vision at home.
The Amsler Grid consists of horizontal and vertical lines printed on black or white paper. A small dot is located in the center of the grid for fixation. The test is done on one eye at a time (the other eye is covered). While staring at the dot, the patient looks for wavy lines and missing areas of the grid.
The doctor is especially interested in the following when testing vision with the Amsler Grid:
ability to see the corners and sides of the squares
any wavy lines
any breaks or missing areas
If the lines of grid do not appear straight and parallel or there are missing areas, the doctor will examine the retina very closely. When using the test at home, notify the doctor if any changes in the appearance of the Amsler Grid are detected.
Dr. Manolette Roque is an ophthalmologist whose practice includes general ophthalmology (which includes cataract surgery) with subspecialty work in uveitis and ocular immunology, cornea and external disease, and refractive surgery.