Pinhole Glasses

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Pinhole Glasses help you read without using reading glasses and may improve your eyesight when used.

When you wear prescription glasses, your eyes are no longer able to use their focusing muscles to the fullest.  These muscles begin to weaken, making it necessary to get stronger glasses over time.  Pinhole glasses were designed to help reverse this slide and develop the eye muscles. 

How do pinhole eye glasses work?

Pinhole glasses, sometimes known as stenopeic glasses, are made of an opaque substance like plastic or metal.  You look through the many small holes in the material, which reduce the width of the diverging rays coming from the objects you are viewing (this is often called the pencil of light). 

Ordinarily, light is admitted by the full opening of the pupil.  Improper bending of the outer rays of the pencil of light causes errors like farsightedness, myopia, astigmatism and presbyopia to be more noticeable.  In all these conditions, pinhole glasses can bring clearer vision.  The pinholes block those outer rays, letting in only the rays which will pass through the center of the pupil so refractive errors aren't noticed so much.The pupil is open wide but the center is the only portion receiving light.  This can lead to a striking improvement in visual acuity.


The drawing above shows a myopic eye with with a pinhole lens.  You can see that with the lens the eye doesn't have to deal with any rays that need the most bending because they are blocked.  If you're familiar with cameras you'll see this is the same type of principle used when decreasing aperture to increase depth of focus.  That is the principle pinholes operate under. 

An easy demonstration is to close one eye and hold a fist up the other eye, with your fist opened just enough to make a small hole to look through.  If your eyes have refractive errors, you should now be able to see more clearly.  It's the same with squinting, as the eyelids come together to create a smaller opening.  Unlike squinting, looking through these glasses cuts off peripheral rays from all sides.  Because the lens is close to your eye, the spaces in between the holes is out of focus and not as disturbing as you might initially think.  Once you get used to the glasses, your brain will ignore those spaces more readily. 

The pinholes are less noticeable when looking at far away objects and more noticeable when looking at something very close.  If you were watching TV from a distance, the pinholes are barely visible at all because your focus is farther away.

Who should use pinholes and how do you use them?

Pinhole glasses won't replace prescriptions for everyone.  If you have over six diopters of myopia you probably won't find these useful because the pinholes won't be able to get rid of all of the blur.  Young people who are very farsighted should not use pinholes because as they grow, nature refines their visual acuity.  This process should not be defeated in a growing youngster.

Will pinhole glasses improve my vision?

Given what we know about the causes of acquired myopia, we can say pinholes have a legitimate use in prevention of myopia.  They reduce the accommodation our eyes must make when reading or doing close work.  Research shows that excessive accommodation is a root cause of acquired myopia.  Anything that reduces this effort is a useful tool to retaining good vision. 

Important note:  Because these lenses provide reduced peripheral vision while worn, they should be used when standing still or sitting, and not when driving a vehicle or moving about.

Available Models



  • Dimensions:  5.3" wide, 5.5" long
  • Hole size:  1.0 mm.
  • Space between holes:  2.5 mm.
  • Lens:  Nylon
  • Weight:  1 ounce (29 gr.)
  • Frame color:  Shiny Black
  • Frame style:  Wraparound
  • Frame material:  Acetate


  • Dimensions:  5.25" wide, 5.75" long
  • Hole size:  1.1 mm.
  • Space between holes:  2.0 mm.
  • Lens:  Mirror-coated Acrylic
  • Weight:  1 ounce (29 gr.)
  • Frame color:  Tortoise Shell
  • Frame style:  Standard Temples
  • Frame material:  Acetate


  • Dimensions: 5.3" wide, 5.5" long
  • Hole Size: 1.1 mm
  • Space between holes: 2.5 mm
  • Lens: Plastic
  • Weight: 1 ounce (29 gr.)
  • Frame color: Shiny Black
  • Frame style: Stadard Temples
  • Frame material: Acetate

St. Barts

  • Dimensions:  5.5" wide, 6" long
  • Hole size:  1.0 mm.
  • Space between holes:  2.0 mm.
  • Lens:  Mirror-coated Acrylic
  • Weight:  1 ounce (29 gr.)
  • Frame color:  Matte Black (no shine)
  • Frame style:  Wraparound with spring hinge
  • Frame material:  Polycarbonate
Important note: Because these lenses provide reduced peripheral vision while worn, they should be used when standing still or sitting, and not when driving a vehicle or moving about.
(5 reviews)
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  • Notice a difference

    Posted by Lisa S on Aug 25th 2015

    I definitely notice a difference in my vision when I use these, even for a short time. I'm still in my prescription, but I see better through them.

  • Great product

    Posted by Jennifer on Aug 25th 2015

    This is a great product, but if your eyes are bad enough, they don't work.

  • Unbelievable

    Posted by Magoo on Aug 25th 2015

    These glasses literally make my 32" Sony tube set look as crisp as an HDTV. This is no exaggeration, the improvement is unbelievable. I would spend the majority of my television viewing, constantly adjusting the picture settings. I was beginning to drive myself mad, as I could never get the image just right. One day, while rubbing my eye, I happened to peer through my knuckles and caught a glimpse at the television. The picture quality was as crisp and vivid as I could have ever hoped for, but I did not understand the principles behind it. After a quick Google search, which I thought would be fruitless, I stumbled upon your site. I can not thank you enough, these glasses are absolutely amazing!

  • They really work!

    Posted by Fernando on Aug 25th 2015

    They really work!

  • Improvement

    Posted by Mary on Aug 25th 2015

    I have had some improvement in my eyesight! I have not worn them consistently but have had results! I will continue to use them.