Macular Degeneration Tool

Macular Degeneration Tool Use this simple eye test to see if you have symptoms of macular degeneration - a leading cause of blindness. Macular degeneration causes progressive and painless loss of central vision, affecting a person's ability to read, recognise faces and drive.

Instructions


  • View the Amsler grid below, on the screen.
  • If you normally wear reading glasses or contact lenses, you should wear them for this test.
  • Cover one eye.
  • Focus your uncovered eye on the centre dot and keep your vision on it.
  • While your eye is trained on the centre dot, all the vertical and horizontal lines should be straight and the small squares making up the grid should appear evenly sized.
  • Repeat with your other eye.
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National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA


How did you see the grid?

If you see any wavy or broken lines or distortion or blurriness of the grid or any areas of the grid are missing, please contact an optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately as you may be showing symptoms of macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration: Amsler grid as a person with macular degeneration might see it.

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National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA


Healthy vision: Amsler grid as a person with healthy vision might see it.

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National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, USA

Why does it matter?

Age-related macular degeneration is a type of vision loss that affects your central vision. You need this vision for driving and reading, recognising faces, and other activities where you need straight-ahead vision. Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision impairment in the over-40s in Australia, so if you see any distortion in the chart, you should see an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Does macular degeneration have symptoms?

In the early stages, there are no symptoms. Later symptoms include:

  • Distortion, especially in central part of vision.
  • Reduced ability to see colours – dimming of colour vision.
  • Dark shapes blocking central part of vision.
  • Problems with close work, such as reading or sewing.
  • Loss of central vision.

Macular degeneration does not cause any pain.

Can it be treated?

There is no cure, but for some types of age-related macular degeneration, there are treatments that can slow or stop the vision loss – and sometimes improve it. That’s why it’s important to see an optometrist or ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms, or have any distortion on the chart.