Although soft contact lenses are more common, a second, less familiar kind of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, also called oxygen permeable lenses.
In truth, GP lenses involve newer technology than soft lenses, and they are longer-lasting, allow finer vision quality, and provide enhanced deposit resistance. Further they may also be less expensive in the long run than soft lenses. Of course, its advised to first consult with your eye doctor to decide whether RGPs suit your lifestyle. Our optometry staff can help you figure out if RGP lenses are right for you.
Because a GP is made of inflexible material, it maintains its form well when you blink, which can provide crisper vision than the typical soft lens. In addition GPs are particularly strong. Though they can break if stepped on, they don’t easily rip like soft lenses. Also, since they consist of materials that don't include water, proteins and lipids from your tears won't stick to GPs as easily as they do to soft lenses. Those of you who are especially particular about vision quality will probably opt for GPs.
On the downside, GPs need to be worn regularly in order to achieve maximum comfort. Additionally, some people report “spectacle blur” with GPs, which is when vision is blurry when the lenses are taken out even while still wearing glasses. While the effect is only temporary, it can require full-time GP usage.
When thinking about RGP lenses, make sure to first ask your eye care practitioner to determine if you truly are a candidate. You never know…hard lenses might be the perfect match for you!