While you may be most accustomed to soft contact lenses, another less familiar kind of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, also referred to oxygen permeable lenses.
In reality, hard lenses are a newer technology than soft lenses, and they are longer-lasting, allow better vision quality, and offer enhanced deposit resistance. Further RGP lenses may also be less expensive in the long term than soft lenses. Of course, its best to first discuss with an optometrist to decide if hard lenses suit your lifestyle. Our optometry staff can help you figure out whether you’re a candidate for RGP lenses.
Because a GP is constructed from a thin, firm, breathable material, it retains its shape well when you blink, which tends to afford crisper vision than the typical soft lens. Additionally RGPs are particularly durable. Though they will break if stepped on, they don’t easily rip like soft lenses. Further, since they're made of materials that don't include water, proteins and lipids from your tears won't stick to RGPs as easily as they will to soft lenses. People that are extra critical about vision quality will probably opt for GPs.
GPs are also sometimes preferred for people that have special considerations such as astigmatism, presbyopia or keratoconus, in which standard contacts may not produce the desired visual acuity. RGPs are also a better choice for contact users post refractive surgery.
If you're thinking about RGP lenses, make sure to first ask your optometrist to verify if you truly are a candidate. Who knows…RGP lenses might be the right match for you!