The Amsler grid test is used to detect eye damage caused by macular degeneration or other eye diseases. Detecting eye damage or an eye disease early on can jumpstart treatment and reduce the risk of associated complications.
The Amsler test uses a grid with a black dot in the center. This test can be performed at home or at an eye clinic. By no means does the Amsler grid test replace a thorough eye exam, but it can offer some insight into eye health.
How to test yourself using the Amsler grid test
The below image is a replica of the Amsler grid.
If you are wearing corrective lenses, it’s important that you keep them on while performing the Amsler grid test. The grid should be the same distance from your eyes as would any other reading material.
To complete the test, cover one eye and focus on the center dot. Now ask yourself:
Do any of the lines appear blurry?
Are there any missing areas or dark areas on the grid?
Can you see all the grid’s corners?
Once you’ve completed the test with one eye, switch to the other and ask yourself the same questions. Your answers can provide your eye doctor with some insight into your eye health potentially prompting for additional testing and examination.
To make it a bit easier, you can mark the chart in the areas that appear blurry, darker, or not visible, and bring the chart for your doctor’s review.
The face test
Another test that can provide you with insight into your vision is known as the face test. By looking at yourself in a bathroom mirror, cover one eye and allow the other eye to focus on your face. Switch eyes, and try focusing on your face again. If you notice any blurriness or distortion, report this to your eye doctor.