Everything about pinhole glasses you should know

Lensmart 2022-06-27 10:56:30

Pinhole glasses are literally glasses that come with tiny holes poked through the lenses. They are generally used to help improve some refractive errors in your eyes. They work by shielding the eyes from indirect light rays, which can distort one's vision. Eye doctors refer to pinhole glasses as something that reduces the "blur circle" on the retina's back.


Regular glasses and contact lenses are different from pinhole glasses. The former corrects vision by collecting light rays entering the eyes and allowing them to converge with the retina. Meanwhile, the latter limits the amount of light going into your eyes. This enables people to see clearly. Also, pinhole glasses do not come with eye grades, so anyone can buy and use them. However, it might be beneficial to know the nature and purpose of these eyeglasses before buying them.

Additionally, there are other criteria you must consider before using pinhole glasses. As various claims of effectiveness of these glasses need further studies, it can be beneficial to identify the aspects where they can be helpful before investing in one.

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Do pinhole glasses improve vision?

In some cases, pinhole glasses are used to alleviate astigmatism or nearsightedness. Additionally, some eye doctors serve as the primary users. They often use these glasses as a diagnostic instrument to identify any vision impairments.

There is still little evidence to support the claims of pinhole glasses. In some cases, pinhole glasses can improve eyesight if used in combination with some eye exercises. Pinhole glasses can improve one's vision temporarily. There might not have clinical evidence on this, but some people use these glasses for a specific amount of type in a day.

It can also be worth noting that pinhole glasses rarely reduce eye strain. In fact, a study in 2017 revealed that they initially increase eye strain, especially if you put them on while reading or using your computer.

Is it safe to wear pinhole glasses?

In general, seeking advice from an eyecare professional might be beneficial. This way, they can identify the proper treatment for you and whether you really need to put on pinhole glasses. As you may know, they do not cure any eye condition; instead, they temporarily correct some minimal vision impairments.


While these glasses might come with benefits, they are not ideal for wearing in daily tasks. This is because creators design pinhole glasses to block some parts of an individual's direct vision and restrict its peripheral vision. As a result, it will reduce the amount of light entering the eyes, which eventually reduces visual quality.


In context, you might see a sharp image, but the image can appear dim since you are putting on pinhole glasses. Activities that require better vision, like driving, can become unsafe when using pinhole glasses.


Interestingly, these glasses are rarely used by individuals having vision impairments. Instead, eye doctors commonly use them. This is because pinhole glasses are essential to effectively determine if a person has some problems with their vision. Pinhole glasses are used to diagnose corneal distortion or cataracts. Furthermore, they can significantly help to assess whether a person with a cataract needs surgery.


The benefits of wearing pinhole glasses

Several arguments and myths surround the effectiveness of pinhole glasses. However, there are some aspects that clearly bring positive effects to those who use these glasses. Here are some of them.

1. They help people with myopia see clearly. The effects of myopia or nearsightedness may be reduced by using pinhole glasses. On the other hand, since they block some light rays, the image can appear dimmer than the regular quality. They may be helpful to those with myopia, but they are not functional for daily use, especially when operating machinery or driving.


2. Pinhole glasses can be helpful for astigmatism. In reality, these glasses only temporarily help those people having astigmatism. Furthermore, they do not permanently correct eye alignment. This means that you will return to your original vision once you take them off.


3. They are helpful for eye doctors. Generally, eyecare professionals use pinhole glasses to identify specific eye problems. They often use them along with an occluder, which is a tool they use to cover the eyes when reading an eye chart.

4. People with Aniridia might benefit from these glasses. Aniridia refers to the partial or complete absence of an iris. The iris is the one responsible for controlling the amount of light allowed into the eyes. With the absence of an iris, a person might suffer visual distortion and debilitating glare, which sunglasses and eyeglasses are of no help. The pinhole glasses limit the light coming in and produce a much clearer vision.

How to find the best pinhole glasses?

In most cases, pinhole glasses come with holes. However, it might also be worth noting that the frames, including the shapes, can vary. Here are some elements you may consider when shopping for pinhole glasses.

1. Design. Like the regular eyeglasses and sunglasses, pinhole glasses come in various designs. Most manufacturers can create round, square, or classic frames. This allows you to still be fashionable even when wearing these types of glasses.

2. Color. Some pinhole glasses are in different colors. The lens might be in uniform black, but the frame and surrounding the lens could be of any color. Suppose you opt for a much brighter frame; you can always ask your pinhole glasses provider.

3. Price. As with any other product, buying pinhole glasses will cost you some dollars. There are affordable ones which you can use. It will depend on your budget, but you have to be smart in buying one. Not all expensive pinhole glasses guarantee the best results. At the same time, not all cheaper ones lack the functionalities expected from pinhole glasses.

4. Durability. Generally, pinhole glasses are not ideal to use since they dim some images and reduce their visual quality. However, you might want to assess their quality. You do not want to constantly buy pinhole glasses after the first one is not functional anymore. 

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