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.

Lois' Story

I am pleased to take this opportunity to tell my own journey  from diagnosis of Macular Degeneration to my situation at  present.  I only hope that these few words will encourage others newly diagnosed with MD that  there is help to be found and hope for a continued normal life.

It was 10 years ago, 2003, when I was 73, that I visited my optometrist having noticed, whilst playing golf, that the “putting pin” appeared  crooked and wavy.  It was decided I needed to visit an ophthalmologist which I urgently did only to have my hopes dashed by being told I had Macular Degeneration in the Right eye and there was nothing that could be done. 

Lois on left

I was very upset but decided I must seek another opinion and my optician arranged another appointment  for me - again my hopes were dashed as this ophthalmologist was retiring 1 hour after my visit!!  He was, however, very helpful and introduced me to a top Retinal Specialist whom I have been seeing ever since. This all took 6 months and not at all ideal.

After a confirmed diagnosis of my problem right eye I was treated with the best available at this time - Visudyne Therapy treatment and later eye injections with Avastin.

The central vision in my Right eye deteriorated  after 4 years and it was decided to discontinue treatment. My peripheral sight was good.  It was at this time that my Left eye showed early signs of MD and it was immediately treated with a new available drug, Lucentis, that is injected into the eye.

Awful as it sounds, it is quick and painless  and I have continued these injections monthly - had well over 50!! - with the result my sight has stabilised and I am able to drive and continue the activities I have always enjoyed - sport,  travel. photography and computer work etc.

The awareness of this common eye problem is being  well documented and publicised by the newly formed Macular Degeneration NZ Foundation .  I urge all of you over 50 years to read all you can on MD and visit  your optician regularly  - Macular Degeneration is not life threatening but life changing  - early detection is imperative.


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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 MDNZ Website 3steps

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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