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19 August 2008

my take on pinhole glasses




The folks at Pinhole Glasses Direct were kind enough to send me a complimentary pair of pinhole eyeglasses so I could review them on my blog. I got the pair three or four weeks ago and have been wearing them in different settings to see how I feel.

I'd had hopes of writing a glowing review for the pinhole glasses, but I didn't love them. First off, the frames are too small--I was not sure if the pair I was sent was the default size or if I'd accidentally been shipped a kid's pair. In any case, big-headed Janet was displeased with the look and feel of the glasses. We migraineurs know that anything gripping on your head can be reason enough to take it off.

Yet I persevered. I first tried watching TV with the glasses. I had read that pinhole glasses take a little getting used to, so I held out and kept watching the screen. Within minutes I started getting that dull ache in the upper left corner of my left eye; this discomfort is often the precursor to a Migraine attack, so I took 'em off.

My beau wanted to see what all the fuss was about (I'd told him about expecting the package with the glasses and wanting to see if they helped my vision, so he knew the premise and what the glasses are supposed to do). J. wore the frames for a minute but took them off almost immediately, complaining of the discomfort they caused him. Just now, a few weeks after initially trying them on, I had J. put them on his face again and tell me how they felt. And I quote: "They hurt me in between my eyes--like when you force yourself to go cross-eyed and it hurts right there [points between his eyes right above the bridge of his nose]? That's how it feels when I look through them. It makes me feel the same feeling you get when you're getting a Migraine." I laughed a moment ago when he said this to me. "Why are you laughing?" he asked. "Because that's pretty much exactly what I just wrote about them!"

I put the pinhole glasses on again while driving to work one morning. My vision felt too obscured to safely drive; I couldn't focus on my periphery or even what was in front of me and took them off after less than a block. Maybe driving with the glasses takes getting used to (just as watching TV with them does), but it seems entirely unsafe to practice wearing vision-blocking glasses as you drive a motor vehicle. If you're going to practice wearing them in a car, make sure you're a passenger.

When I got to the house where I babysit, I showed the kids my new glasses and asked them if they'd be interested in trying them on and telling me what they thought. The three-year-old danced around in them for a second and then handed them back. The five- and seven-year-olds told me--without my leading the witnesses--that they felt like they couldn't see with them on.

The frames are cheap, clear plastic reminiscent of a 1989 pair of shades. The pinhole shades are plastic pieces that pop out pretty easily--be sure to carry your glasses in a case!

Man, I feel like I'm being so rough in this review! I told the contact person from the company that I only wanted the glasses if my review was welcome despite its contents. She assured me that both good and bad reviews were welcome, so...here I am, with a not-so-spectacular review.

One thing the glasses are supposed to do is help you focus on things far away. At this they perform pretty well. I just experimented yet again with them as I looked out the window. My head and eyes started to feel funny after just a minute so I took them off again, but they worked while they were on! I looked at leaves on trees pretty far from my window with and without the glasses on. If I could peer through just one pinhole at the tree, I could see details down to the individual leaves. This is not possible for me without glasses, so in that way they helped. If you're having trouble with seeing far away, it might not be a bad idea to keep a pair of these around for stationary viewing of an object. When you have to move or when the object you're looking at is moving, be prepared for eye and head discomfort.

Overall, I would not recommend the pinhole glasses to my fellow migraineurs and/or those whose eyes and/or scalps are particularly sensitive.

6 comments:

rain gem said...

wow, that's like totally 70's sci-fi. doctor who technology - from the time when he wore a scarf.

Megan Oltman said...

Ummm - Janet - thanks for the review I will not be running out to get any, but... what are they for? Is it just to see better at a distance or is there some other reason - or just to be a 70's Dr. Who look alike, as Rain suggests?

themigrainegirl said...

Hmm....purpose. Purpose. Hard to say.

I think they're mainly to improve distance vision and to increase visual acuity for driving and such. Too bad they're the most distracting things on earth! :)

Megan Oltman said...

Meegrain brain has much trouble doing one thing at a time as it is... meegrain brain not too big on added distractions! (Mine anyway) But it made for a funny post!
- Megs

Anonymous said...

YIKES!!!!

the directions clearly state THAT YOU MUST NEVER WEAR THEM WHILE DRIVING.

that you suggest they are for improving that is horrifying! please change it so no one accidentally Believes you.

I have never tried them, but a buddy swears by them. they are for myopic vision which is what people usually get in their 40s

here is an interesting article about how it works in the eye: http://www.myopia.org/pinholes.htm

Best!

themigrainegirl said...

Anonymous: I think I, too, made it clear that they're not good for driving! (And anyone who read my review knows I am not endorsing wearing them while operating a vehicle.) I don't recall what the directions stated, but it's good to know that the directions you got echoed my sentiments: do not drive while using these!

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