Although soft contact lenses are most often used, another lesser-known type of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, also called oxygen permeable lenses.
Actually, GP lenses involve more modern technology than soft contacts, which last longer, are often more effective in improving vision, and provide enhanced deposit resistance. Additionally GP lenses can also be cheaper in the long term than soft lenses. Of course, you need to first discuss with an eye care practitioner to decide if RGPs suit your lifestyle. Our optometry staff can help you determine if you’re a candidate for GP lenses.
Because a GP is composed of stiff material, it does a great job of retaining its shape when you blink, which can provide sharper vision than the typical soft lens. In addition GPs are extremely long-lasting. Though they will break if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Also, since they consist of substances that don't contain water, proteins or lipids from your tears won't adhere to RGPs as readily as they do to soft lenses. Those of you who are extra fussy about quality of vision will probably choose GPs.
One of the inconveniences of GPs is that they must be worn consistently in order to reach maximum comfort. Additionally, there are some who report “spectacle blur” with RGPs, which is when eyesight is unclear when the lenses are taken out even while still wearing glasses. Though the effect is not permanent, it can require full-time GP usage.
When looking into RGP lenses, be sure to first speak to your optometrist to verify if you really are a candidate. Who knows…hard lenses might be the right match for you!