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.

My mother had dry MD so to be on the safe side I went for an eye check-up when I was in my twenties to find that I also had signs of it.   

It developed very slowly but by the time I was 50 I was having difficulty driving at night and had to stop.  Then I started having difficulty reading.   My eye specialists said nothing could be done to help me so I've had to learn to live with it.   I can't drive, I can't read and I have trouble recognising faces.

 Pic Picot Image

I take vitamin supplements for eye health and fish oil.  Even though I have no idea if it works, I take them anyway.

Surprisingly, good has come out of the situation because it has forced me to let other people help me run my Pic's Really Good Peanut Butter business.  Previously I was a micro manager and the business wasn't growing as a result. Now I've had to employ people to do the things that I can no longer do.  They can do them better than I could have and it's the reason my business has grown.  I feel really fortunate.

My employees tell me that my sight loss is ironic, given that they are guided by my vision for the business.


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.


watch video button solid




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

 map 2

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.

Test Button

 MDNZ Website 3steps

What you need to know

Infomation Icon

What's the chance?

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

info icon


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

info icon

Is it getting worse?

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

info icon

More common than you think

Age related Macular Degeneration is the most common cause of blindness

info icon

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.

info icon

What if I don't have treatment?

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

Stay connected with MDNZ

Sign up to receive our newsletter

sign up


Like us on Facebook