When and How to Use an Amsler Grid

Eye disease is one of the issues we relate to regularly here at Organic MD. These can be complex problems and so having effective tools to work with them proves essential.

This article goes out with great gratitude to all of our clients who have serious eye disease, and who have done such good work taking care of their eyesight with the Better Eye Health Program.

The Amsler Recording Grid is a valuable low-tech tool for people with various types of retinal disease. The grid, when used correctly, gives you a map of the retina, showing which parts are working well, and where there are problems. There are two versions of the Amsler Grid that can be downloaded as PDF’s, and there is one that has the simple instructions for use. (The instructions are also at the end of this article.)

If you have challenges with your retina that can be detected on an Amsler Grid, you will find that the abnormalities on the grid do not change from day to day. You do not need to use the grid daily, but when you first start, use it often enough that you become familiar with what the baseline is for you. The idea is that if one day you pick up the Amsler Grid and there is an area with a new abnormality, you may need to do something.

The Amsler Grid is most useful when you have concerns on a given day that your eyesight seems a bit “off”. For instance, you notice your eyesight is poor, and aren’t sure if it is from stress, lack of sleep, sinus problems, a migraine or headache—or is it from some new problem with your retina?

This is the time to take out the Amsler Grid. If, when you use it there are no changes from the last time you used it, then whatever is going on with your eyesight it is unlikely to have anything to do with your retina. But if there are new changes in the Amsler Grid, you would want to call your eye doctor and tell them, “Doc, my eyesight is off today and there are new changes in my Amsler Grid.”

If they are worth their salt as an ophthalmologist, they will tell you to come in that day for a quick check. Do go see them.

Download the Grid:

Grid One

Grid Two

Instructions For Use of the Amsler Grid

  1. Hold the page at eye level and where light is consistent and without glare. Hold at the same distance from your eyes you would use if you were reading a book.
  2. Put on your reading glasses and cover one eye.
  3. Fix your gaze on the center black dot. Can you see the edges and corners well?
  4. Keeping your gaze fixed, try to see if any lines are distorted, faded or missing.
  5. Mark the defect on the chart.
  6. TEST EACH EYE SEPARATELY
  7. If the distortion is new to you or has worsened, arrange to see your ophthalmologist at once.
  8. Always keep the Amsler’s Chart the same distance from your eyes each time you test.

Let us know how you like this. Over the years I have used a variety of tools to help working with eye issues. I like this tool because it is simple to use and portable. Hopefully you will find it effective as well.

To Your Health.

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