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.

Dr Andrew Thompson BPharm(Hons), BHB, MBChB, FRANZCO Back to About Us


Ophthalmologist, Tauranga Eye Specialists, Tauranga

Andrew initially trained as a pharmacist at the University of Otago and worked in New Zealand and the United Kingdom before commencing medical studies at the University of Auckland. He completed ophthalmology specialist training in Dunedin and Christchurch. Andrew undertook subspecialist fellowship training in glaucoma with Professor Anthony Molteno and vitreoretinal surgery with Professor Philip Polkinghorne in Auckland and subsequently at Bristol Eye Hospital in the UK. On returning to NZ, Andrew established a new, state-of-the-art vitreoretinal surgical unit at Dunedin Hospital. He has relocated to Tauranga where he works as a consultant ophthalmologist at Tauranga Eye Specialists.

Andrew has authored several publications and coauthored a book chapter on Molteno implants. He has teaching responsibilities for both under and postgraduate students. Andrew is an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago and is involved in preparing registrars from Australia and NZ for their final fellowship examination. He is also a College examiner for the Ocular Pharmacology and Emergency Medicine module of the Basic Sciences examination registrars must take on entering the training programme.

Andrew belongs to the American Society of Retinal Specialists and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Retinal Specialists. He specialises in cataract, glaucoma and medical retinal disease.

Outside of ophthalmology, Andrew is an accomplished pianist, extensively travelled and enjoys tennis, skiing and photography. He is married to Kaasandra who is a talented equestrian sportswoman. Together they have a son, 2 Burmese cats, a dog and a horse.

Dr Andrew Thompson

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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