Do Pinhole Glasses Improve Eyesight?

Do Pinhole Glasses Improve Eyesight?

Pinhole glasses are weird.

Yep, just weird. No lenses; just tiny little holes to look through. How is that ever going to work?

Well, if you are prepared to read on, I will provide detail on what they are, how they work and an answer to that all important question: do pinhole glasses improve eyesight?

What Are They?

Just like your prescription glasses, they have a frame. But instead of those prescription lenses, they have sheets of metal or plastic with tiny little holes all over their surfaces.

How Do They Work?

Without wearing the pinhole glasses, the rays of light are coming at the eyes from all angles. When the pinhole glasses are worn, the rays of light that come through the small holes are hitting the central part of the pupil. As a result the refractive error (that causes the blur) is not so noticeable.

But Do Pinhole Glasses Improve Eyesight?

Well not on their own they won’t. Once you remove them, the blur is the same as before. Do pinhole glasses improve eyesight?

But I still think they are a good tool in your eyesight improvement toolkit for the following reasons:

1. They help reduce your dependency on prescription glasses:

If you read a lot of the books about how to improve your eyesight naturally

(for example

– Better Sight Without Glasses by William Bates,

– Improve Your Vision Without Glasses and Contact Lenses by The American Vision Institute and

– The Program for Better Vision by Martin Sussman),

you will notice that the consensus out there is you have to lose your dependency on your prescription glasses to make real progress.

And they suggest there is a direct correlation between the hours without the prescription glasses and the speed at which you will see improvement.

If you wear your prescription glasses all the time like me, reducing your dependency is not easy. It is not fun going round in a blur. I start off with not wearing them but soon enough, I am reaching for them again. Its like an addiction! You have got so used to them, it is hard to be without them!

So this is where pinhole glasses are a real help.

They can really help you in that transition from wearing glasses all the time to only when you need to (driving a car and cooking etc). They will give you some focus as opposed to the blur if you go ‘cold turkey’ without your specs.

As I said in a previous post (you can click here if you wish to read this) wearing your full strength prescription glasses (which are for the purpose of seeing far into the distance) and close up work don’t mix. Especially for long periods of time. So if you can do without your glasses for this work and don’t feel eye strain, why not do it!

But for those us who end up with our faces squashed up on the screen trying to see when we do this, pinhole glasses may give you the much-needed focus boost your eyes need to see clearly close up.

One slight drawback with these glasses is that you need good lighting. If you are looking for a good eye friendly desk lamp, click here. Another disadvantage is they are not really for wearing out and about unless you enjoy being mistaken for the Terminator that is!

Pinhole glasses then are ideal for when your lazing around the house or watching TV, working on the computer or reading. Very soon you will be reaching for your pinholes rather than your prescriptions. Then you know you have kicked your dependency on prescription glasses. One of the big steps towards eyesight improvement. do pinhole glasses improve eyesight?

2. They help to relax the eyes:

They help to relax the eyes too. Rather than straining to see without your glasses, the eyes don’t need so much of that focusing power to see clearly with pinhole glasses. It is true that you are seeing life through grid lines. But that is a small price to pay in my book compared to the benefit you are getting out of wearing them.

If you have read other posts on this site, you will know that I talk a lot about the need to relax the eyes. That is one of the foundational steps to maintaining and also improving distance vision. So that is why I really like pinhole glasses as they really assist with this.

3. They help keep a positive attitude when working towards eyesight improvement:

When you have relied on prescription glasses most of your life to obtain clear vision, it is a great feeling to be able to see well without them.

While pinhole glasses don’t improve your eyesight on their own, they do give you that positive feeling. My eyes can work with the need for prescription lenses! It is a lot harder to imagine improvement if you simply take off your glasses and start the process like that. Especially if you suffer from high myopia.

It is easy to get discouraged when, in the early stages at least, you are straining to see through a blur. So the pinhole glasses will help to maintain a positive attitude through the process of eyesight improvement. So you are less likely to give up on your goals.

What Will Improve Eyesight?

One of the best tools for improving eyesight is reduced lens therapy. I have discussed in this in another post (click here if you wish to read this). Essentially this is the use of lenses that are slightly weaker than your current prescription, so your eyes are trained to focus. The eyes become less reliant on the lenses to focus and more reliant on their own ability to focus. When your eyes are able to see clearly through these previously weaker lenses, you use even weaker lenses. And so on.

There are other issues which I have discussed in other posts on this site you will need to consider (diet, nutrition and posture for example).

But that is not all.

The visual system is made up of so many parts.  For example,  the cilary body, the lens, extra-ocular muscles and the mind. And they all have to be working harmoniously in order to achieve good distance vision.

Please look out for further posts on this site as I expand on what can be done to improve upon all the parts of the visual system.

Something to Consider

Pinhole glasses are still weird but hopefully you can see they have their uses as well.

They are a useful tool to compliment any eyesight improvement program that you chose to undertake. They should help to keep you in that positive frame of mind to stick at it until you start to see more clearly.

And they are relatively cheap too (around $10 to $15) so what do you have to lose!

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions then please do leave them below and I will come back to you.

12 thoughts on “Do Pinhole Glasses Improve Eyesight?”

  1. I use prescription glasses because without them I don’t see to well. Would the pinhole glass correct my eyesight or would I have to be dependent on them forever? You didn’t put up a picture of the glasses for us to access how weird it looks? If it does offer improvement to my eyesight I really don’t mind. I wonder my optician has recommended this

    • Hi Louis. Thanks for your comment. Pinhole won’t correct your eyesight on their own but they are a useful tool to compliment any eye improvement program. I doubt your optician will recommend them; their usual solution to eye sight problems is prescription glasses. 

  2. Hi James, thanks for your wonderful article!

    I’ve been wearing specs for the last 6 years. I think this eyesight thing just runs in my family because even my dad has pretty bad eyesight.

    I’ll try out my luck with pinhole glasses but do you think even bad eyesight related to genetics can improve? I’m really desperate because i  don’t want to have to wear specs for the rest of my life.

    • Thanks Ezra for your feedback. I don’t think we can put the blame entirely on genetics. Both my parents never wore glasses for short sight but myself, my brother and sister ended up needing glasses for short sight. It is more likely down to bad eye habits. Doing too much close up work for long periods of time that is the blame. If you do try pinhole glasses, try them in conjunction with reduced lens therapy. 

  3. I will agree with you we should avoid over depence  on prescription glasses  which will lead to out eyes becoming useless without glasses.for $10 dollars it won’t hurt your pocket to get the pinhole glasses and start exercising your eyes to be independent that way  you can only have better eye sight.

  4. Hi james,Thanks for sharing this useful information through your article about “Do pinhole glasses improve eyesight? ”  I am honestly accept that I would not even know this important knowledge if I did not read this article.But I have learned the main concept of the page and I am implement this for my about me page.I am going to read your other post soon.Thanks for giving us such helpful instruction.              

  5. Hey James,

    Yep,pinhole glasses may help people who have astigmatism to see better but only when they were wearing them . it is reduce the amount of light your eyes take in.but it also restrict your vision by blocking part of the image in front of us.i will discuss it with my all friends.thanks for sharing this with us. 

  6. Before now i never knew that the pinhole Glasses can certainly make our eyesight clearer while wearing them, I use to think that they were fancy glasses but this article explains a whole lot with its importance as well but my question about pinhole Glasses is if it does improve vision permanently? 

    • Seun, pinhole glasses are no magic cure for short sight. They are an important tool though, I believe, in challenging ourselves about the use of prescription glasses and maintaining positive thought processes during eyesight improvement programs. 

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