An Amsler grid is a simple test that allows you to monitor your vision from home. Now using this chart doesn’t mean you can skip out on your regular eye exams, because you can still miss signs that only a trained eye care practitioner will find.

Using an Amsler grid test is easy and takes only a few minutes. Here are the steps:

  1. Test your eye under normal room lighting used for reading.
  2. Wear eyeglasses you normally wear for reading (even if you ear only store-boaght reading glasses.)
  3. Hold the Amsler Grid approximately 14 to 16 inches from your eyes.
  4. Test each eye separately: cup your hand over one eye while testing the other eye.
  5. Keep your eye focused on the dot in the center of the grid and answer these questions:
    1. Do any of the lines in the grid appear wavy, blurred, or distorted?
    2. Do all the boxes in the grid look square and the same size?
    3. Are there any “holes” (missing areas) or ark areas in the grid?
    4. Can you see all the corners and sides of the grid (while keeping your eye on the central dot)?
  6. Switch to the other eye and repeat.

Mark areas of the Amsler grid that you’re not seeing properly (print two grids if you notice problems in each eye), and bring the grid(s) with you when you visit your eye doctor.

Your eye doctor will also run some additional testing that will allow them to better detect damage related to AMD. This test will require them to use an instrument called an Optical Coherence Tomographer or OCT. This instrument enables the doctors see the layers of the macula and how certain disruptions can change the way we are seeing. Typically, the OCT reports and Amsler grids should match.


Segre, L. (2017). Amsler grid: macular degeneration test, (eye test chart). All About Vision. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from

Haddrill, M. & Slonim, C. (2018). What is age-related macular degeneration? All About Vision. Retrieved January 6, 2020, from