While soft contact lenses are most often used, another lesser-known brand of contact lenses exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, sometimes called oxygen permeable lenses.
Actually, GP lenses are a newer technology than soft lenses, which last longer, offer better vision quality, and provide increased durability and resistance to protein deposits. Additionally they can also be cheaper in the long term than soft lenses. Certainly, its best to first discuss with your eye care practitioner to determine whether GPs fit your needs. Our optometry staff can assist you in determining whether you’re a candidate for GP lenses.
Since a GP is made of inflexible material, it retains its shape well when you blink, which can allow for crisper vision than the typical soft lens. Additionally RGPs are especially long-lasting. Though they will crack if stepped on, they don’t easily rip like soft lenses. Further, since they're made of materials that don't contain water, proteins and 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 most likely choose RGPs.
The biggest disadvantage of GPs is that they must be worn consistently in order to achieve optimum comfort. Further, there are some who experience “spectacle blur” with hard lenses, which is when eyesight is blurry when the lenses are taken out even while wearing glasses. Although the effect is not permanent, it can require full-time GP usage.
If you're checking out GP lenses, be sure to first ask your optometrist to determine if you really are a suitable candidate. You never know…hard lenses could be the perfect match for you!