An Amsler Grid is a simple test of intersected lines that can be used as one of the first determinants of macular degeneration in the eye. Blurred or missing segments of line, or if the line appears wavy or otherwise distorted, show that degeneration may have begun.
Early detection of macular degeneration is the most important part of potentially saving any remaining vision once a degenerative condition is diagnosed. In many cases, early stages of degeneration can be corrected with a simple laser surgery that halts, or at least slows down, the degenerative process. This early detection, and the potential to fix it, could be the difference between saving a person's vision or not.
Testing with an Amsler Grid is relatively easy. A person simply covers one eye and stares at the black dot in the middle of the grid. This tests peripheral vision by gauging how well the person sees the grid surrounding the dot. The peripheries are often one of the first parts of vision lost when someone experiences macular degeneration. If there are any negative results from the test, such as blurred or missing segments of line, distorted or wavy lines, it is crucial to consult an ophthalmologist immediately, as this is cause for significant concern and may require immediate attention.