Do pinhole glasses really work?

Discussion in 'Community' started by *Y*, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. *Y* macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2004
    Hey guys,
    I was wondering if pinhole glasses such as these really work. I am Near-Sighted and just wanted to experiment. I though maybe any of you wise MR members have had experience with them. If so, post your feedback. Also I was wondering if any of you know of any vitamins, supplements, or other natural medicine. Well, thanks for your help. :)
  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Didn't know you could still get these....they're actually very old version of sunglasses used by polar explorers before the 20th century to avoid snow blindness.

    The whole story about the gov't pressuring them is interesting. And I don't know if these will help UV screening as much as modern ones, they're still letting in sunlight, all they're doing is blocking a large percentage. And I wouldn't look at the sun with these :D

  3. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Those don't work. They claim to work by working your eye muscles, but the thing is, you eyes don't have muscle that directly affects your vision. Clarity of vision is controlled by the cornea with is not affected by the muscles in the back of the eye that control movement and direction.
  4. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    I am horribly nearsighted, but I've found that if I take off my glasses and make a TINY hole with my hand by folding over my index finger and holding it down with my thumb (you'll need to experiment with this), and then look through the hole with one eye, I can *almost* read the text on my screen from a distance of 2 feet... so I believe there may be *some* validity to the concept of pinhole glasses. Light passing through a very narrow aperture is focused by the aperture, even if it contains no lens. (Somebody correct me if I'm wrong... it's the same principle as a camera obscura.)
  5. mcmav37 macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2004
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I'm not sure where you came up with this response, but it is pretty much completely wrong. These glasses do work and the explanation given on the linked pages is correct and has nothing to do with muscles. See below. And, while clarity of vision is not affected by the muscles which move the eye, it is affected by much more than just the cornea. The length of the eye and the lens--which can be altered in shape by muscle action-- also play a huge role.

    Now, as someone in medical school who has spent time with opthalmologists, I can say that there is definitely some use for these glasses. If you don't believe me, go visit your eye doctor without your glasses and watch how they give you a pinhole occluder when you try to read the eye chart so that they can estimate the best correction your eyes can expect. Or, watch people, like clayjohnson, try to squint to temporarily improve their vision.

    All 3 of these situations work by the same mechanism. See the link from the above page to see diagrams, but basically the function of the cornea and lens is to bend light rays that are coming into your eye into a single point on your retina. If the rays don't hit a single point, they are out of focus. However, if you look through a pinhole, then very few rays are let in. And the rays that get through are pretty much coming straight and parallel to each other in so they don't need to be bent in order to hit the same point on the retina. Therefore, your vision is relatively well focused.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Mcmav, yes, if you look at the world through a pinhole, you get a huge depth of field and you are able to resolve distant elements...but how does this permanently improve your eyesight, when you're *not* wearing the glasses? Or wasn't that the original question?

    EDIT: NVM -- I see they don't claim this anymore. When these glasses first appeared in the US on infomercials, people claimed that they could permanently reverse existing myopia....
  7. ~loserman~ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2004
    Land flowing with Milk and Honey
    Right on.

    When I was a kid my eye doctor showed me "pin hole refraction" I thought it was the coolest thing a severely myoptic boy had ever seen.
  8. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    I tried this with a piece of paper with holes made with a ball point pen. It does work, but it's obviously impractical. I'm sure the glasses would work better than a piece of paper. I'm still sticking with my regular glasses/contacts. :cool:
  9. Jaffa Cake macrumors Core

    Jaffa Cake

    Aug 1, 2004
    The City of Culture, Englandshire
    Strangely enough, me and my girlfriend read a piece in a magazine about this at the weekend. We both tried it (me being extremely shortsighted) and it did indeed make the headlines a little sharper, albeit not by a great deal. I think I'll stick with my regular glasses, thanks all the same.
  10. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    I've been doing this for years, it's the only way I can read my TiVo menus from way across the room. If you get it just right, everything becomes incredibly sharp (well, the tiny part you can see, anyway).
  11. *Y* thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2004
    I guess I'll order the cheapest ones and see how it works out. Thanks to all of you for your replies! :)
  12. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Every time I hear The See Clearly Method commercial on the radio, I think of The Music Man with the Think Method, La di da di da di da di dah, la di da....
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    I have to say, that's a good MIDI file they have of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata :D
  14. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    Essentially, this sort of thing is the same as squinting. By squinting, contrast is increased giving the impression of clearer vision.

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