While you may be more familiar with soft contact lenses, a second, less familiar brand of contact lenses exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, sometimes referred to oxygen permeable lenses.
Actually, RGP lenses involve more modern technology than soft contacts, which last longer, offer finer vision quality, and provide increased durability. Further GP lenses may also be less expensive in the long term than soft lenses. Certainly, its advised to first discuss with an optometrist to decide whether GPs suit your needs. Our optometry practice can help you determine whether you’re a candidate for hard lenses.
Since a GP is constructed from stiff material, it retains its shape well when you blink, which tends to afford crisper vision than the typical soft lens. Additionally GPs are especially durable. Though they will break if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Further, since they consist of materials that don't contain water, proteins or lipids from your tears don’t stick to GPs as easily as they will to soft lenses. Those of you who are especially fussy about quality of vision will most likely choose RGPs.
GPs are also sometimes preferred for contact wearers with special considerations such as astigmatism, presbyopia or keratoconus, where standard contacts may not fit comfortably or provide enough variety. RGPs are also preferable for contact users after refractive surgery.
If you are thinking about hard lenses, be sure to first ask your optometrist to verify if you truly are a suitable candidate. You never know…hard lenses could be the perfect match for you!