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How to Use the Amsler Grid

Have you ever had to double take when looking at something because you’re not sure if you saw it correctly the first time? You might think the door jamb is curving or the top of the table is warped at first glance. If this happens, you might need to see a retina specialist to make sure there is nothing wrong with your central vision. There was a tool developed in the 1940s called the Amsler grid for people to test their vision at home to see if there really is a problem with their vision or if the door jamb is really curving 😊

The Amsler Grid was developed by a Swiss ophthalmologist in 1945 to monitor the center of your vision. It is a grid of vertical and horizontal lines to aid in the detection of visual changes occurring in the back of the eye.

You can download a PDF of the Amsler Grid here .


So how do you use the Amsler Grid? See the instructions below.

1. If you wear glasses, put those on.

2. Place the Amsler Grid 14 inches away from your face.

3. Cover one eye at a time with your hand (this is to see if the problem is in one eye or both eyes).

4. Stare at the dot in the center. It’s important not to let your eye drift from the center dot.

5. Contact your eye doctor immediately if:

  • a. Any of the straight lines appear wavy or bent

  • b. Any of the boxes differ in size or shape from the others

  • c. Any of the lines a blurry, discolored or missing

You can also watch a demonstration here.

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