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.

Eunice's story


On 12th December 2009 I flew to America to visit my daughter. I had mentioned to her that I was concerned about my vision. I was struggling to drive my eyesight was so poor, but my optometrist had signed me off as fit to have my licence renewed - I was frightened to get behind the wheel and felt sure there was something wrong. 

On 15th December my daughter said she was taking me on a suprise day trip - we went to her optometrist! She was a lovely lady who said she could see the signs of macular degeneration, and referred me to an ophthomologist called Mr Wong. He recommended we start treatment immediately, and I had Avastin injections in each eye. I went to see him again on 15th January 2010, just before I left, for another set of injections, and he gave me a letter to pass on to my GP.

Back in Invercargill, I went to my local clinic and began getting regular injections. The improvement in my vision was incredible. Now I don't need to wear glasses at all - except to drive for legal reasons. I live in the bay in Riverton and I can look right across the bay, it's about a mile, and clearly see the waves crashing on the other side. 

When people hear you are having injections in your eyes they recoil, but you don’t feel a thing. You don’t need to be afraid. the difference it makes is incredible. 

My advice to people is to eat well, take your vitamins, use your Amsler grid and wear sunglasses. And if you go to the optometrist and you are not happy with what they tell you, get a second opinion. Dr Wong told me if I hadn't seen him and started treatment when I did, I would have been blind in a year. It doesn't hurt to get things checked a second time. 


Eunice Andrews

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.

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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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