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Pinhole Glasses And Myopia

Updated on October 12, 2013

Pinhole glasses or pinhole spectacles are amazing eyewear. I discovered pinholes years ago to be an acceptable substitute for my prescription eyeglasses. That is, I see much more clearly with pinholes than with my unaided vision.

I'm now aged sixty-something and worn spectacles for myopia and astigmatism since age eleven. Since childhood the world stubbornly continues to be out of focus unless I wear my prescription glasses or contact lenses to "correct" my eyesight. Or unless I wear my pinhole glasses.

Over the decades I've tried everything to restore normal vision. I've taken fish oil and every kind of vitamin and supplement, read the Bates book, tried all the eye exercises, tried yoga, hypnotism, etc. I believe everything helped somewhat, but pinholes help the most.

If you were looking for cheap glasses then pinhole glasses are a great alternative to reading glasses or expensive prescription glasses. Heck, if you wanted free glasses you can even make your own pinhole glasses very easily. it's a simple matter of making small holes in something opaque, like cardboard or plastic. But making suitable glasses frames could be a problem.

What I really like about pinholes is how they exercise my eyes in a natural and effective way, working to eliminate eye strain which is one of the main factors causing eyesight dysfunction. Can pinhole glasses cure eyesight problems? Actually, yes. I'll go into that later in this review.

In the short term I would say no. Pinholes do provide clearer vision whilst wearing them but of course when you take them off your eyesight will return to it's usual state. However, I have noticed that the more often I use them, I do find that my unaided vision seems to be getting better.

Peter Grunwald is an expert on pinhole glasses
Peter Grunwald is an expert on pinhole glasses
Pinhole Glasses Exercise Eyes
Pinhole Glasses Exercise Eyes

Pinhole Glasses Eye Exercises

Pinholes Glasses - Good Or Bad?

My first ever visit to an optician was at the age of eleven. I remember helpfully informing him that I could see the letters on his eye chart more clearly if I squinted. He quickly made it very clear that I must not squint. Squinting was bad. I would go to hell if I ever tried to squint.

Okay, he didn't say that. But actually that's how pinhole eyeglasses work. They do much the same thing as squinting, reducing the amount of light entering the eye. So if squinting is bad then pinhole glasses must be good. Because with them you don't need to squint.

An optometrist could probably explain in clinical detail exactly what pinhole glasses do. But then maybe we still wouldn't really understand it. It's easy to see that the quantity of light entering the eye is decreased by the act of squinting or wearing pinholes.

However, pinholes control the quality of light rays so as to produce a clearer image. Each pinhole allows a narrow beam of light to enter the eye. Whatever the optical explanations, the general effect is to produce a clearer image of whatever one is looking at. You can try pinhole viewing at home right now. Just grab a piece of cardboard and make a couple of small holes in it. Now take off your prescription glasses and look at something through one of the holes.

Does it work? Do you see more clearly through pinholes? You decide. If you're happy then you can try making your own pinhole glasses or go ahead and do what I did and order something ready made. They are a much cheaper alternative than prescription glasses.

Pinhole Glasses Testimonial

Some Pros & Cons Of Using Pinhole Glasses

Pinhole glasses can help with various errors of eyesight. These can include myopia (shortsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age related diminished focusing) and astigmatism.

This week I made a point of checking how wearing my pinholes affected my own myopia and astigmatism. I noticed a number of things, mostly positive. The main problem was the quantity of normal light blocked by the bulk of the black "lenses". Of course they're not lenses at all. They're simply pieces of black plastic perforated with small holes.

So moving around indoors was a problem if rooms were not well lit. I usually remove my pinholes for getting around the house, and use them mainly for reading and for watching television.

One thing I really like about pinhole glasses is that I can use them to read and watch television at the same time. That is, I can be reading an article or something and simply look up and clearly watch something on TV across the room. I would have to remove normal spectacles if I wanted to read. Even my more expensive transition lense spectacles are no longer comfortable for reading.

Even though my prescription glasses are made to allow for reading, I find it more comfortable to read without them, but with unaided eyesight I have to hold normal print closer than someone with "normal" vision. Wearing pinhole glasses, however, I can hold written material at arms length and still read it clearly and easily.

I find that watching TV wearing pinhole glasses is comfortable and I can see clearly and easily. Not quite as sharp as with my normal glasses though. What I like is having the choice. I've never been happy needing to rely on prescription eyeglasses for clearer vision. What I appreciate about pinholes is a sense of freedom which I don't get from the conventional, fixed solution provided by traditional eyecare specialists.

Finally, one has to get used to "seeing through a mesh" and occasionally "tweaking" one's line of vision in order to get the clearest image of something, perhaps some fine text on the TV, for example. This can be annoying but all-in-all I consider pinhole glasses a wonderful invention and would recommend them to anyone with vision problems.

Pinhole glasses for short sight and long sightedness


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