Not the Ducks – You don’t Need Glasses

One of the strangest types of quackery I have been subject to are the rants from people about the deadly “Big Ophthalmology” and how it ruins your eyes. 

The basic premise is that eye sight varies and children often see their eyesight deteriorate. So naturally the quacks claim it’s the glasses that do this.

They use the idea that somehow the eye is relaxed while looking through glasses or contact lenses. That it makes our eye muscles “lazy” and that as the muscles of the eye (I assume lens muscles) get weaker we get less visual acuity.

But fear not! There must be a quack solution to a quack problem! Otherwise there is no money in it!

Gentlemen! Behold!

This is seriously a thing.

That is a set of pinhole glasses.

Now here is the fun thing. Such a pair of glasses WILL work. In fact if I were to test your eyes, I could use a pinhole to restore vision in your eye to test whether you have a refractive error or a lens error or a retinal error. (Refractive Errors are corrected by this).

It works by allowing only parallel rays of light to enter your eye at 90 degrees to your corneal plane. This means there is no refraction through the cornea and none through the lens. Therefore the image formed on your retina is clear. Since there is no refraction there is no error.

Now the idea that our visual acuity is affected by “weak” lens muscles is “daft”. Visual acuity is determined not by the lens as much as the shape of the cornea or the length of the eyeball.

So it works… But can anyone see why it would be a terrible idea to use this?

I am blogging as part of the Secular Student Alliance’s blogathon. I am trying to aim for a blog post every hour unlike the shambolic haphazard events of Tuesday. In addition? I am accepting “requests”.

The link to the hangout is here. But the blogathon proper should start in around 2 Hours. 

If you wish to donate to the Secular Student Alliance then the link is here. And yes, you can suggest forfeits.


  1. says

    The terrible idea would be that you’d basically lose peripheral vision?

    Not a big deal, considering that anyone who goes along with something like this would probably have to be living their lives with a set of horse-blinkers attached to their faces to begin with…

  2. HM says

    I know the pain of big Opthamalogy – but that’s cause I’m in the top 1% for myopia and astigmatism. And I seem to have a lot of the idiots in my family that say “These magic pills will cure you of needing glasses!!!” Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do instead of wearing my glasses/contacts. I’m going to take a pill and then wander around bumping into shit.

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