Although soft contact lenses are most common, a second, less familiar type of contact lens materials exists: gas permeable (GP) contact lenses, sometimes referred to oxygen permeable lenses.
In reality, RGP lenses are a more modern technology than soft lenses, and they last longer, offer finer vision quality, and offer enhanced deposit resistance. Further GP lenses may also be less expensive in the long run than soft lenses. Of course, you need to first discuss with an optometrist to determine if hard lenses suit your needs. Our optometry practice can help you figure out if you’re a candidate for RGP lenses.
Since a GP is composed of stiff material, it does a good job of maintaining its shape when you blink, which tends to afford crisper vision than the average soft lens. In addition GPs are particularly durable. Though they will crack if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Further, since they consist of materials that don't contain water, proteins and lipids from your tears don’t adhere to RGPs as easily as they do to soft lenses. Those of you who are extra particular about quality of vision will most likely choose RGPs.
GPs are also a good choice 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 are thinking about GP lenses, make sure to first speak to your optometrist to find out if you truly are a suitable candidate. Who knows…hard lenses could be the right solution for you!