Once you start experiencing the symptoms of macular degeneration, it could be a good idea to do a quick macular degeneration grid test before heading out to your eye doctor. Vision loss or even simple changes in your vision can be uncomfortable and affect your productivity. Before it gets worse, you can quickly and easily do this test at home.

Macular Degeneration Grid: How to Detect Vision Problems at Home

What is Macular Degeneration?

What is Macular Degeneration | DIY Macular Degeneration Grid Test

Macular degeneration is a condition where you may experience blurred vision or no vision at all at the center of your visual field. While some do not feel the early warning signs of macular degeneration, others experience gradual vision loss. It typically occurs in older people and comes as either dry macular degeneration or wet macular degeneration.

What is a Macular Degeneration Test?


A macular degeneration grid, otherwise known as the Amsler grid, is a test that helps detects vision loss or changes in your vision. It is a grid used to observe a person’s central visual field.

To use the macular degeneration grid, you simply look at the small dot right at the center of the grid using one eye at a time. If you see wavy lines or notice some lines are missing on the grid, you may have a macular disease.

A macular degeneration grid can be supplied by your ophthalmologist or optometrist. You can also find online copies of the grid or simply make one at home.

How to DIY a Macular Degeneration Grid Test

1. Print out a copy of the macular degeneration grid or create one on a white sheet of paper by crisscrossing horizontal and vertical lines. Do not forget the dot at the center of the grid.

2. Wear your eyeglasses or contact lenses, whether they are graded or simple reading glasses.

3. Go to a spot at home with good lighting or where you usually read. Make sure it is an area without glare.

4. Hold the macular degeneration grid at arm’s length, about 12 to 14 inches away from your eyes. Make sure to test each eye at the same distance.

5. Test one eye at a time by covering one eye to test the other eye.

6. Using the eye currently being tested, stare at the dot at the middle of the grid. Focus and try to answer the following:

  • Do you see the dot placed at the center of the macular degeneration grid?
  • Do you see all four corners of the macular degeneration grid?
  • Do the horizontal and vertical lines on the grid look straight and continuous?
  • Do all the boxes on the grid look quadrilateral and of the same size?
  • Do you see any gaps, lacking areas, or shadowy areas on the grid?
  • Does the macular degeneration grid look wavy, blurred, or distorted?

7. Proceed to test the other eye.

8. If the grid appears to be wavy, blurred, or distorted, see your ophthalmologist or optometrist for a proper and complete eye check-up.

What You Need to Remember About the Macular Degeneration Grid

What You Need to Remember About the Macular Degeneration Grid | DIY Macular Degeneration Grid Test

Using a macular degeneration grid is not conclusive and will only aim at helping you notice if you’re experiencing vision loss or changes in your vision. When you do the test at home and notice wavy, blurred, or distorted lines, schedule a check-up with a specialist as soon as you can.

Remember, a specialist will conduct various tests before he or she can diagnose you with macular degeneration. The grid test will not replace any regular eye exams.


EyeSmart shares a quick clip on how you can use a macular degeneration grid to check your vision:

DIY Macular Degeneration Grid Test

Aging can pose a lot of problems, including vision loss. It can be quite disheartening, especially when you are no longer able to go about your day the way you used to. Once you start sensing symptoms of vision loss, make sure to visit your ophthalmologist or optometrist. If you are no longer able to wait for your scheduled eye test, you can always grab a macular degeneration grid online or make one for a quick exam.

Are you seeing wavy, blurry, or distorted areas in your central vision? Let us know about your experience with the macular degeneration grid in the comments section below.

Up Next: Macular Degeneration Treatments: Natural Ways To Reverse This Eye Condition


DIY Macular Degeneration Grid Test

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