Amsler Grate and Macular Degeneration
At the wet form of macular degeneration straight lines often seem bent. To see whether there are already distortions the Amsler Grate is used. This is a checkered paper with a fixating point in the middle which a macular degeneration person receives for example from his ophthalmologist or which can also be found in the Internet.
At this test you have to cover up one eye and fixate with the other the point in the middle. Generally the test has to be done for each eye separately and the to be tested eye is not to be pinched. Important at this macular degeneration test is to keep your normal reading distance (ca. 30 to 40 cm) and if you use reading glasses in your daily life put them on as well. With the opened eye you now look calmly at the point in the middle of the grate.
Note whether one of the following effects appear:
- Are lines distorted, wrinkled or bent?
- you see blurred or darker parts?
- Do you see holes or empty places in the grate or grey veils or shadows on the image?
- Are one or several edges of the grate missing?
- Seem some of the checkers bigger than others or smaller in the Amsler Grate?
- Is the point in the middle clearly viewable or does it vanish?
Should one or several of the described effects be valid for you, please do not hesitate to contact your ophthalmologist and tell him what you saw. At a possible macular degeneration no time is to be wasted.
Furthermore many patients notice a progressing instability of viewing with macular degeneration. The viewing acuity can be good on one day and the next bad and the following after good again. The reason for this are changing light conditions, changing metabolism and changing blood flow of eyes and the visual cortex in the brain. Many patients also reported to us that the viewing capacity is the more dependent on the psychological and bodily condition the worse it becomes.
At both forms of the macular degeneration it is valid that colors become increasingly color less and reading becomes more and more difficult. Later faces, even the own, are no longer recognizable and reading is impossible. In the end the centre of the field of vision seems empty, brighter or more gray or as a black spot (central scotom).
Some people affected by macular degeneration are able to orient themselves in known surroundings. But most are already dependent on foreign help in this state. Macular degeneration patients who have reported to us that they have always believed not to go completely blind were extremely appalled in this state. They were not able to imagine what it could mean not to "go completely blind".back to Top