Cheap prescription lenses for sale have been making a comeback in Japan, thanks to an industry-backed campaign to help reduce health-care costs.
The glasses were first introduced in Japan in 2002.
They have been popularised by Japanese pop singer Rika Mizutani, who made them her signature item during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
According to Japanese media, the new glasses, which are designed to be worn with either a face mask or a mask and eyes closed, have been gaining popularity with people with lower incomes, who have the least access to proper glasses, according to the BBC.
Japanese pop star Rika “This is the first time in Japanese history that people with low incomes have used these glasses to pay for their healthcare,” Dr Hidenori Matsumoto, a Japanese expert on healthcare at the University of Tokyo, told the BBC, adding that the new glasses had a lower cost than other types of prescription glasses.
A doctor in Osaka who is working on a study to compare the effectiveness of the glasses with traditional prescription lenses, has suggested that they may be more cost-effective than other methods of healthcare, such as hospital treatment.
“If it was only cost-saving in the US, then it might be worth it,” Dr Matsumotos told the broadcaster.
“But the cost of healthcare in Japan is high, and people with high incomes are less likely to be able to afford it.
Healthcare is expensive in Japan.
That’s why people want cheaper solutions,” he added.
Some Japanese residents have been trying to find cheaper alternatives, and the government has said it is looking at whether the glasses could be made into disposable medical supplies.
They are available from Japan’s leading eyeglass maker, Zenni, for about $20 (£15) a pair.
Other manufacturers have also tried to make cheaper prescription lenses.
One, a maker of high-end prescription glasses called Baskin-Robbins, has been selling them online for about 30 cents each, but its website states that its glasses “can be made at home”.