Although you may be more familiar with soft contact lenses, another lesser-known kind of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, sometimes known as oxygen permeable lenses.
Actually, GP lenses are a newer technology than soft lenses, which are longer-lasting, can be more effective in improving eyesight, and provide increased durability. Additionally RGP lenses may also be less expensive in the long term than soft lenses. Of course, its advised to first consult with an eye doctor to decide if GPs fit your needs. Our optometry staff can help you determine whether hard lenses are right for you.
Because an RGP is composed of stiff material, it maintains its shape well when you blink, which tends to allow for sharper vision than the typical soft lens. In addition RGPs are extremely durable. Though they can crack if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Further, since they're composed of materials that don't contain water, proteins or lipids from your tears won't adhere to RGPs as easily as they will to soft lenses. Those of you who are especially particular about quality of vision will probably opt for GPs.
GPs are also sometimes preferred for those with certain conditions such as astigmatism, presbyopia or keratoconus, where standard contacts may not produce the desired visual acuity. GPs are also a better choice for contact users after refractive surgery.
If you're looking into hard lenses, make sure to first speak to your eye care practitioner to find out if you definitely are a candidate. Who knows…hard lenses might be the right match for you!