While soft contacts are most often used, a second, lesser-known brand of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, also referred to oxygen permeable lenses.
In reality, GP lenses involve more modern technology than soft lenses, which last longer, allow finer vision quality, and offer increased durability. Further RGP lenses may also be less expensive in the long term than soft lenses. Certainly, you need to first discuss with an optometrist to determine if hard lenses suit your needs. Our optometry office can assist you in ascertaining whether RGP lenses are right for you.
Because an RGP is made of stiff material, it does a good job of maintaining its shape when you blink, which can afford crisper vision than the average soft lens. Additionally GPs are especially strong. Though they can crack if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Further, because they consist of materials that don't contain water, proteins or lipids from your tears won't stick to RGPs as easily as they do to soft lenses. Those of you who are extra fussy about vision quality will most likely choose GPs.
On the downside, GPs must be worn consistently to reach optimum comfort. Additionally, some people experience “spectacle blur” with hard lenses, which is when eyesight is blurry when contact lenses are taken out even while still wearing glasses. Although the effect is not permanent, it can require full-time GP usage.
When checking out hard lenses, make sure to first speak to your eye care practitioner to determine if you truly are a candidate. You never know…hard lenses could be the perfect match for you!