Amsler grid

A checkered pattern used at home for detecting retinal distortions, such as from macular degeneration or an epiretinal membrane. To use, a patient is instructed to look at the central dot while covering an eye. If the surrounding lines are missing or look distorted, then the surface of the retina (which acts like “film in a camera”) may be distorted as well. This prompts further evaluation and retinal scans like an OCT to find these problems. My patients are often sent home with a copy of this grid to monitor their vision at home. Stop by my office for a free copy if you don’t already have one.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


  1. The Amsler visual grid is a useful home test that we give to our patients with:

    1. Macular Degeneration
    2. Epiretinal Membrane
    3. Vitreomacular traction
    4. Impending macular hole
    5. Clinically significant macular edema (from diabetes)

    When our patients see new findings on their grid, we typically investigate with a dilated retina exam and usually an OCT scan of the retina.


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