May 23rd 2024

Can Pinhole Glasses Improve Vision?

Are Pinhole Glasses an Alternative to Laser Eye Surgery?


An reader is looking for advice on correcting their vision, in particular any alternatives to laser eye surgery. This reader came across the Pinhole Glasses trend and wonders if these actually work to restore sight.

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Mr Arthur Cummings explains the principle of Pinhole glasses and answers this readers query. Mr Cummings explains they originated in Egypt during the Pharoah Era as a way to safely view a solar eclipse.

Pinhole glasses are eyeglasses that have tiny holes in a grid in the lenses. These tiny holes work to reduce the amount of light taken in by the eyes, while also blocking part of the image before you.

Mr Cummings emphasises that pinhole glasses only improve the vision while they are being worn if the person has a refractive error. A refractive error to vision simply means that the eye cannot focus correctly, leading to near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism.

Once the pinhole glasses are removed, the vision returns to baseline. There is no scientifically-accepted rationale that the effect of pinhole glasses would remain when the glasses are removed.

The best method to improve eye vision is to wear prescription eyeglasses or prescription contact lenses. Mr Cummings also advises that there are now alternative procedures to laser to correct vision. These are not-laser based and may be worth speaking to your Ophthalmologist to investigate and find out what treatment suits both you and your eyes.

Mr Arthur Cummings is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and leads the Wellington Eye Clinic based on Beacon Medical Campus. He has performed more than 50,000 laser vision correction procedures making him one of the most experienced surgeons in the world.

Read Mr Arthur Cumming’s full piece and advice on pinhole glasses here at