While soft contact lenses are most often used, a second, lesser-known type of contact lens materials exists: gas permeable (GP) contact lenses, sometimes known as oxygen permeable lenses.
In truth, RGP lenses involve newer technology than soft contacts, and they last longer, can be more successful in improving eyesight, and provide enhanced deposit resistance. Further they may also be cheaper in the long term than soft lenses. Of course, its advised to first consult with your eye doctor to decide if RGPs fit your needs. Our optometry staff can help you figure out whether GP lenses are right for you.
Since a GP is made of inflexible material, it maintains its shape well when you blink, which tends to afford crisper vision than the typical soft lens. Furthermore RGPs are particularly long-lasting. Although they can break if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Further, because they're made of materials that don't contain water, proteins and lipids from your tears don’t adhere to RGPs as readily as they do to soft lenses. People that are extra fussy about quality of vision will probably opt for RGPs.
On the downside, RGPs need to be worn consistently in order to achieve maximum comfort. Further, some people experience “spectacle blur” with hard lenses, which is when vision is unclear when contact lenses are taken out even while wearing glasses. Though the effect is only temporary, it can require constant GP wear.
If you are looking into hard lenses, make sure to first ask your eye care practitioner to ascertain if you truly are a candidate. You never know…hard lenses might be the perfect answer for you!