The Amsler Grid: A Simple Test for Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration used to be more common in people over the age of 50, but in recent years, many young people have become more prone to myopia due to changes in their lifestyle and eye habits, such as working late at night, binge-watching dramas, working and playing games. Myopia means an elongated eye axis and a higher risk of macular degeneration. Once affected, symptoms such as blurred vision, distorted objects and even blindness can occur!
This is why it is important to conduct regular self-examinations. Just look at the black dot in the picture below to see if there are any signs of macular degeneration in the eyes!
One-minute check by yourself: the Amsler grid
Step 1: Hold the chart at a comfortable reading distance (generally, about 30 cm away).
Step 2: Cover one eye and focus on the black dot in the middle of the grid.
Step 3: Cover the other eye and repeat the test.
If the lines appear to be wavy, dim, irregular or fuzzy, schedule an eye exam immediately.
In addition to this self-examination, you can also visit an ophthalmologist to find out more about whether you have macular degeneration by undergoing the following tests:
Fundoscopic exam / Dilated eye exam
Fundus fluorescein angiography
Optical coherence tomography / Macular scanning
If left untreated, macular degeneration can continue to worsen and even lead to blindness. Therefore, if you find that you have blurred central vision, light sensitivity, distorted visual images, or blackened or blind spots in or near the centre of the image, you should seek early medical examination and treatment.