Using the Amsler Grid

If you are at risk for vision loss, you may be told to check your eyesight regularly using the Amsler grid. Below is the grid and instructions for using it.

 Amsler grid of black lines forming small squares and black dot in the center.

How to use the Amsler grid

  1. Use the grid in a well-lighted area.

  2. Wear glasses or contact lenses if you usually wear them.

  3. Hold the grid at your normal reading distance (about 16 inches).

  4. Cover your left eye.

  5. With your right eye, look at the dot in the center of the grid.

  6. While looking at the dot, notice if any of the lines look wavy, if any lines disappear, or if the boxes change shape.

  7. Write down on a piece of paper any vision changes from the last time you used the grid.

  8. Now repeat the exercise, this time covering your right eye.

  9. Call your healthcare provider right away if you notice any vision changes.

How often should I check my vision?

Use the Amsler grid as often as your eye healthcare provider suggests. Keep the grid where you’ll remember to use it. Call your eye healthcare provider right away if you notice any changes with your eyesight. This includes if your vision improves.