Macular Degeneration (also called AMD, ARMD, or age-realated macular degeneration) is an age related condition in which the most sensitive part of the retina, called the macula, starts to break down and lose its ability to create clear, visual images. The macula is responsible for central vision – the part of our sight we use to read, drive and recognize faces. So although a person’s peripheral vision is left unaffected by macular degeneration, the most important aspect of vision is lost.
Macular degeneration usually produces a slow, painless loss of vision. Early signs of vision loss associated with macular degeneration can include seeing shadowy areas in your central vision or experiencing unusually fuzzy or distracted vision. In rare cases, macular degeneration may cause a sudden loss of central vision.
The Amsler Grid assists in spotting the first signs of Macular Degeneration.
One of the first signs of Macular Degeneration is often burred or missing areas of vision, or wavy, broken or distorted lines. The Amsler Grid assists in spotting these changes early. Early diagnosis is critical because it means early treatment, which may help limit or or slow vision loss.
If you are at risk for Macular Degeneration, you can use this chart at home to monitor your vision. But using the chart does not mean you can skip regular eye appointments, because you can easily miss signs that only a trained optometrist will find.
Here’s how to use the graph attached below:
- Wear the glasses you normally use regularly, and sit about 14 inches away from the grid.
- Cover the left eye.
- With the right eye, focus on the dark dot in the center of the grid.
- While looking at this dot, you still should be aware of the lines of the grid. Notice if any of the lines are distorted or broken or if there are blurred areas.
- Now, cover the right eye and repeat the test.
- If you notice any blurred, wavy or missing lines, contact us as soon as possible.
If lines appear blurry, broken, distorted, or are missing, please call and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.