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.

Lynette's story

Lynette’s early diagnosis and treatment saved her from going blind.

I was 40 when I discovered I had macular degeneration. I know a lot of elderly people get it but mine was hereditary; both my mother and grandfather had macular degeneration so I knew it was possible that I would get it too.

I found out that I had macular degeneration quite by accident after something flew into my eye and scratched my cornea.


Lynette and Kids

My ophthalmologist noticed bleeding at the back of my eye. It was then that he told me I had macular degeneration. My first thought was that I still had the other eye but then the specialist told me that it would affect both eyes.

I had the option of having the affected eye lasered at the public hospital or go for private treatment. I chose the private option but it was quite aggressive and in the end it didn’t save my sight.

Two years later macular degeneration affected the other eye. I drove to work turned on the computer and then couldn’t see; I picked up my cell phone and couldn’t see the numbers; my central vision had gone.

I immediately went for treatment, which meant injections into my eye, which eventually restored the sight in that eye.

I now go to Auckland every month for injections; although I know that eventually I will lose my remaining sight. As soon as the vessels in the centre of the eye go, that’s it!

The most important thing that people must realise is how quickly they must act if they have any signs of macular degeneration. It’s critical that as soon as you see something abnormal you get immediate attention and don’t leave it ’til next week!’

If Lynette had not sought immediate assistance, she would now be legally blind.

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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