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.

Boyd’s story

Some 10 years ago my optician did a thorough test and found I had the beginnings of glaucoma. I was referred to a specialist and have regular checks. It was during one of these appointments in 2013 that he noticed the signs of macular degeneration.

I was pleased it was discovered at an early stage. He also did cataract operations on both my eyes. I feel it’s just one of those things when you get to a certain age but I have not let it have any impact on my life – although I do need a strong light to read and sit closer to the TV now. There are many things that could be stressful as you age such as Alzheimer’s, which is a worry. However, it is necessary to try and be positive in mind and body. I swim regularly and go tramping, although I admit I have given up skiing now.

The injections are stressful for me, I must admit, but better than the alternative! I now see the specialist every three months, but if I see a wobble in reading lines, and a slow deterioration in my sight, then I see the specialist immediately. I’m comfortable having regular check-ups, and reading tests put me well above the driving license line. I’m in my early 90’s. When I asked my specialist if I’d still be driving at 100 the answer was positive, but he could not guarantee 110!

It is so important that it is diagnosed early. The sooner you consult an expert and start treatment the better. I know several people including my sister who are now blind or nearly blind because they left it too late.



Boyd Klap


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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