Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Has anyone tried "pinhole glasses"?

I'm intrigued by the claims made by the vendors of so-called "pinhole glasses".

I'm aware that many of the more extravagant claims can no longer be made in the USA, because the FDA has ruled that there's insufficient medical evidence to prove them: but I've seen such claims in overseas publications and Web sites. I'm also aware of the dispute over the relative effectiveness of pinhole glasses - but some users of my acquaintance swear that they've helped them. Whom to believe?

I work at the computer for many hours a day, and use low-power reading glasses coated with an anti-glare substance to reduce eyestrain. I've read that these pinhole glasses are better, in that they drastically reduce the amount of glare reaching the eye, and can even help improve vision over time by forcing the eye to focus at the correct distance. However, all this is "hearsay" evidence.

If any reader has tried these things, and can report success, I'd be very interested (and grateful) for your feedback in the Comments to this post.

Many thanks.



Andrew C said...

I tend to be skeptical of claims like these, however it looks like these are legitimate for some purposes. It looks like the claims of long-term improvement are completely bogus, but they can increase the depth-of-field of your vision, compensating for an inability to focus. The downside being a loss of light exposure, so these would be horrible in dim light.

A group of skeptics analyzing these glasses is here: http://forums.randi.org/archive/index.php/t-106009.

The general consensus seems to be that they do what they say they do, but not as well as reading glasses. Didn't see any discussion of glare.

Loren said...

Pinhole glasses don't do enough for me. You can actually try this by poking small holes in a piece of cardboard, and seeing how that works, but if you're eyes are weak enough, it might not be enough.

There are therapy courses that are supposed to improve your vision, and there's a whole group of optometrists that mess with it, if you want to look at that too. The theories are sound, but there's just not been much research into it.

GeorgeH said...

The theory is sound, and I have used them as snow goggles to reduce glare in place of regular glasses. I have see drawings of cowboys on trail drives using them to replace conventional glasses and cut down on trail dust.

I think I may try some on the computer.

Anonymous said...

I have a serious astigmitism and a condition called keratoconus (sp) that causses me to have double vision. My regular eyeglasses have 7 prisms in them to mitigate the double vision. While testing to determine the cause of the 2X vision I was given a set of pinhole glasses and told to read an eyechart. Double vision gone! I would love to have a pair to wear over my regular glasses, but I never found any. I don't think it will "cure" anything, but neither do my regular glasses. They just help me see. I'd say give 'em a try.

sheila bocchine said...

I have always wanted to try these. I'm a pinhole photographer, so these glasses always come up on my pinhole searches.

If you get a pair, let me know what you think of them!