Prevention and Self-Prevention

by Federico Bartolomei

A simple test to reduce sight problems.


According to the World Health Organization,more than 85% of blindness cases could have been prevented or cured with the current knowledge we have, if put to work with sufficient means.
This judgment has great importance when we think that for the human species, the eye represents the main sensory organ and that close to 80% of the information we gather from the environment reaches us through sight.
Prevention is therefore essential because it is the only way to hinder or reduce sight problems, limiting damages linked to late diagnosis.
Visiting the eye specialist for full tests is the best way to safeguard the health of our eyes, even in the absence of alarming clues. In fact, there exist pathological conditions that, in their initial phases, are not readily recognized because of the lack of notable signs.
When in doubt, always consult with your eye specialist.
Beginning with this issue, we will present a series of self-tests that, we must stress, do not in any way replace the visits you should make to your eye specialist, but that, we think, will help you to give greater attention to your eyes.
That being said let us talk about the Amsler test. What is it about?
It is a very simple test that many of you may have already done with your eye specialist, but that can be easily done in the comfort of your home at your own convenience. With the Amsler grid, it is possible to monitor your central vision in the event of symptoms present in only one eye which often you would not be aware of unless you cover the good eye with your hand.
You need to test each eye separately in order to identify possible symptoms such as metamorphopsia or the distortion of images. Metamorphopsia can be a signal of a dysfunction of the retina. The Amsler grid is a useful mean to monitor your central vision. With that simple test, it is possible to detect early the symptoms of some pathology that affect the central part of the retina. Each eye is tested separately: this helps identifying the visual symptoms that may affect only one eye.


How should you use the Amsler grid?

  • Make sure that the lighting is adequate;
  • Put on your reading glasses, if any;
  • Place the grid at about 30 cm from your eyes;
  • Cover one eye with the palm of your hand;
  • With the eye that is not covered, fix the black dot in the centre of the grid.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the lines broken off or distorted?
  • Do some squares have different shapes and sizes?
  • If you answered “yes” to one of these questions (and if this is a new symptom), it is appropriate to contact your eye specialist to undergo an evaluation in more depth.

Municipality of Venice
Reading Facilitated Project
Logo - Progetto Lettura Agevolata


Prevention is important, test your sight with the Amsler grid.

Immagine - Griglia di Amsler