Eye Center of Texas Blog

Macular Degeneration and the Amsler Grid

Macular degeneration (AMD) is a chronic eye disease associated with aging that gradually destroys central vision. It is one of the leading causes of legal blindness and vision impairment in older Americans. AMD affects central vision, but not peripheral vision – therefore, it doesn’t cause total blindness. The progression of AMD can be slow or rapid, but the deterioration of central vision generally occurs over a period of a few years.

There are two types of AMD, dry and wet. The dry form occurs in approximately 90 percent of those with AMD. The wet form only occurs in 10 percent of those with AMD, but it accounts for 90 percent of all severe vision loss from the disease. “Wet” is a chronic condition with no cure, but it can be treated with photodynamic therapy (PDT), conventional laser, and anti – VEGF medication treatments, or combination therapies.

Like other chronic diseases, wet AMD requires that people with the condition take an active role in monitoring their symptoms. The Amsler grid is a safe and simple, self-administered screening test used to evaluate possible problem areas in the macular.

· Test each eye separately. Cover the eye that you are not using
· Keep the grid about 14 inches away
· Look directly at the dot in the center of the grid
· If you normally wear glasses, do so while looking at the grid

Repeat this test on your other eye. If you notice blurry or wavy lines, and dark or blank spots you may have a vision problem in the eye and you should call your eye doctor.

Early detection and treatment are the best defense of losing your vision.

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