How do you use a macular degeneration test card?


Quick Answer

To use a macular degeneration test card, or Amsler Gird, keep it at about the same distance from your eyes that any other reading material would be, cover one eye and then focus on the dot in the center. If the grid appears distorted or parts of it are not visible, you may have macular degeneration in that eye. Repeat the test with the other eye.

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Full Answer

Damage to the maculam, the central part of the retina, or the optic nerve causes some of the lines of the Amsler grid to appear blurry or distorted, leads to dark or missing areas in the grid or to inability seeing all its corners and sides. If you have prescription glasses, wear them during the test. Report any irregularity to your ophthalmologist immediately.

Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans older than 65. If macular degeneration progresses central vision loss may occur, causing ‘blind spots’ to appear in the field of vision. Using the test card yourself to monitor your vision is a good idea since early diagnosis and immediate treatment may help limit or slow the loss of vision. Testing yourself is not a substitute to visiting an ophthalmologist; only a complete eye exam by a trained eye care practitioner can ascertain a diagnosis.

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