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Pinhole Glasses: Can You Improve Your Eyesight With Pinhole Eyeglasses?

Pinhole Glasses

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative for your pricey glasses, pinhole glasses may be a great substitute.

In addition, it comes with one superb benefit: It does not worsen your eyesight as conventional glasses does

Pinholes have been used to aid vision for hundreds of years.

For many centuries, Eskimos had been using fabrics and wood with narrow slits in as a primitive form of pinhole glasses, in order to protect their eyes from the glare of the sun off the snow and ice.

When I first heard of these amazing glasses, I was quite skeptical about its claims. Seeing better by looking through holes?

Oh come on!

Little did I realized that we often view things using the pinhole method in our everyday life (especially us with poor eyesight).

We do this by squinting.

When we squint, we are actually pinholing our line of vision.

The upper and lower eyelids create a small opening and reduce the amount of light from reaching the eye. Somehow, we are able to see the bus number better with it.

You can test this concept by clenching your fist and try peeping through the minuscule hole with the other eye closed.

Look far if you are nearsighted and vice versa if you are farsighted.

Amazingly, you can now the world with new clarity!

Pinhole Effect for Farsightedness

Pinhole Effect for Nearsightedness

How We See?

To appreciate the science behind it, we have to understand the fundamentals of how our eyes process light to form images first.

As you know, seeing begins when the light that is reflected from an object enters our eye.

Multiple light rays will pass through the cornea and then the lens.

As they pass through, they will be bent or refracted so that they can be focused onto the retina, where they are processed into electric signals that is sent to the brain to form the object image.

However, for people with refractive errors (such as nearsightedness and farsightedness) like me, most of the light rays (especially the outermost ones) either fall short or fall behind the retina due to deflective bending.

This causes distortion and creates blur images. 

How Pinhole Glasses Work?

Pinhole glasses are glasses that are made of opaque materials (plastic or metal) with many small holes.

In fact, pinhole glasses are also known as stenopeic glasses which came from the Greek word ‘little openings’.

These little openings constricts the amount of light entering the eye, thus avoiding forming blurred circles

It works with the same theory like the pinhole camera, which can take sharp photographs even though it has no lens.

Vision is clear through a pinhole, because it allows only one ray of light through and prevents other rays of light from passing through and blurring the image. 

How Pinhole Glasses WorkScience of Pinhole Glasses

Pinhole eyewear allows you to use your eyes in its most relaxed state and not adding additional near point stress if you are using normal glasses.

It is also a useful tool to help you improve vision naturally as users have reported that their eyesight had improved even by wearing it 15 minutes per day.

This phenomenon is explained by the theory that pinholes may encourage the ciliary muscles to become stronger, allowing them to focus the natural lens properly.

How To Use Pinhole Glasses?

So how do others use this amazing eye-wear?

  • Improve Cataracts - People with cataracts have one or more opacities which diffuses light entering the eye causing them to scatter. By cutting off the peripheral rays, pinholes can reduce some of this scattering and improve the vision. 
  • Sunglasses Replacement - Unless you use a expensive sunglasses with prescription, your vision is guaranteed to be affected when you put on the sunglasses. In fact, our vision often becomes worse than due to reduced light and expanded pupils which magnify the effects of our refractive errors. Pinhole glasses can solve this issue as they act like sunglasses by blocking out the light without increasing the size of your pupils. The only issue with pinhole as sunglasses is UV rays. Even though, they reduce your exposure, they don’t offer full protection. Today they have what you called modern pin glasses which comes with smooth lens and offer full UV protection. 
  • Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome - If you are a hardcore computer user like me, you had probably experienced symptoms of eye strain, headache, dry eyes, fatigue, blurry vision and even double vision before especially after prolonged hours of working on the computer. Many causes such as glares, poor contrast, poor lightning but in the end it all voices down to intense near point stress. Pinhole glasses can reduce the glare from the monitor, help relax the eyes, increase depth of field, and increase your natural focusing power.
  • Help Children With Special Needs - Pinhole eyeglasses may also help children who rely too heavily on their peripheral vision. It has been found that the pinhole glasses help improve acuity and central macular vision; and also help the children to concentrate on detail better. National Association for Child Development (NACDactually recommends pinhole in their visual exercises to help special needs children improve their frontal vision.
  • Improve Vision - If you are nearsighted, you can wear them while you are watching television or just chilling out at home. Observe your new improved long distance vision without any form of corrective lens. If you are farsighted, wear them for reading or doing close-up work instead. It is reported that just for 15 minutes per day, people are noticing their vision improve in 1 month! 

It is believed that this phenomenon happens as using pinhole helps to relieve eye strain and allowing your eyes to work on their muscles again.

For maximum effect, use it with the eye exercises shared here.

Also children with progressive myopia may accept pinhole glasses more easily than glasses since kids are likely find pinholes much more fun.


Alas, but nothing is perfect in this world. This eye-wear has its own limitations too.

Honeycomb Effect

A common reported problem among users is the honeycomb effect. It is hard not to notice the holes in the beginning when you wear them.

Similar to cases where many people claim to be conscious of their eyeglass lenses and frames when they first wear them, but after a little time their brain gets used to the information it is receiving, so they notice the frames less.

Certain users even have scenarios of headache (like the adaption period of prescription lenses).

However, most reported improved vision after they got used to it.

Affected Field Of Vision

Due to the opaque lenses, your peripheral vision is diminished.

Driving with the stenopic glasses on or participate in any activities that require peripheral vision is strongly discouraged.

In these situations, having your corrective glasses on is safer for you and others.  

Dimmed Effect

Vision may be affected more in low light environment areas as glasses further reduce the amount of light into your eyes.

While looking at television or computer aren’t a problem  since they make their own light, reading with a good lamp nearby will be helpful.

Not Suitable For Everyone

Stenopic glasses may not be helpful if you have severe nearsightedness (>-6.00 diopters) as the pinholes are unable to remove all the blurs and the honeycomb effect may linger even after long periods of adaptation.

It is recommended that you practise eye exercises to reduce your refractive error (to preferably less than -6.00 diopters) and then use pinhole glasses again. 

Where Can I Buy Pinhole Glasses?

You can actually make them yourself. However, it is quite time consuming and tedious to make one that is somewhat practical. 

Making Pinhole Glasses At Home

It also appears that you will need heat-resistant fingers to accomplish what she does. 

If you are looking to buy it instead, Promolife currently sells a range of pinholes  (design include St Barts, Saba, Cozumel and Tobago) including free shipping in the USA (international shipping is also available).

Find out more at their website.

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