Amsler Grid

The Amsler grid is a useful tool to detect vision problems resulting from damage to the macula (the central part of the retina).

Report any irregularity to your eye care professional immediately.

The grid does not replace having your macula tested by an eye care professional, particularly if you are over 50 yrs old or have any risk factors for macular degeneration.

Amsler Grid

How to do it

  1. Cover one eye, then focus on the dot in the centre.
  2. Do any of the lines look wavy, blurred or distorted?
  3. Are there any missing areas or dark areas in the grid?
  4. Don't forget to test
    both eyes.

"Don't delay" is the message from Don


Every day for the past 60 years, 88 year old Don Stewart has been at his Piccadilly Arcade jewellery shop in Tauranga.  Don says he can't see very well but that doesn't stop him from doing lots.   He also has a hearing aid but reckons everything below neck level is still working perfectly well! 

Don didn't know about MD until he was diagnosed aged 80 - he was seeing flashing red lights in his right eye.    He was told he needed an injection directly into his eye or he would go blind.  Don says people cringe at the thought of an injection in the eye but it is not painful:  the idea is painful, the procedure is not, as they deaden the eye and then go through the procedure.  That right eye had scarring so they couldn't salvage it.  He can see the periphery but can't see the centre and might have lost his sight completely had he not had the injections.

Don still had his left eye so could drive and work until one day he went into the shop, opened the mail and couldn't read it.  So it was back to the Clinic smartly.  Don's left eye has improved greatly which has enabled him to continue his profession some 23 years after he could have retired.

Don says, "you may think you just need new glasses but see your doctor, get to the Clinic - don't delay"    

   Dons story Jewellers Image5

Learn more about Macular Degeneration

Find out how MD affects the lives of real New Zealanders. Watch the video, learn about the risks and see how MD is a growing problem in our society.


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Map: Where is MD in NZ?

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a growing problem in NZ. Total prevalence is predicted to be 206,908 in 2018.

View more

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Getting tested is simple

There is a quick and easy way to tell if MD affects your vision.  Click on the link below to see if you have the common warning signs.

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What you need to know

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What's the chance?

In New Zealand MD affects 1 in 7 people over the age of 50 years

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Smokers have 3 times the risk of developing MD and tend to develop MD 10 years earlier than non-smokers

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Is it getting worse?

It is estimated the number of people with MD will increase by 70% by 2030

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More common than you think

Age related Macular Degeneration is the most common cause of blindness

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You need to know!

Of those most at risk (50+) 67% have heard of MD and only 48% understand that it is an eye disorder. *Galaxy Poll March 2014

People with a family history of MD have a 50% chance of inheriting the genetic predisposition of developing MD.

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What if I don't have treatment?

Untreated, the majority of people with wet MD become functionally blind within 2 years

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