Although soft contacts are more often used, another lesser-known kind of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, sometimes called oxygen permeable lenses.
In truth, hard lenses involve newer technology than soft lenses, and they last longer, can be more effective in improving vision, and provide better durability. Additionally they may also be less expensive in the long run than soft lenses. Certainly, its best to first consult with an eye doctor to decide if hard lenses fit your needs. Our optometry staff can help you figure out if you'd be a fit for GP lenses.
Since an RGP is made of inflexible material, it does a good job of retaining its shape when you blink, which tends to allow for clearer vision than the typical soft lens. In addition GPs are extremely long-lasting. Although they can crack if stepped on, they don’t easily rip like soft lenses. Further, since they consist of materials that don't include water, proteins and lipids from your tears don’t adhere to GPs as readily as they do to soft lenses. Those of you who are extra fussy about quality of vision will most likely opt for GPs.
On the downside, GPs must be worn regularly in order to achieve optimum comfort. Additionally, some people report “spectacle blur” with hard lenses, which is when vision is blurry when the lenses are removed even while still wearing glasses. Though the effect is only temporary, it can require full-time GP usage.
If you're checking out RGP lenses, make sure to first ask your eye doctor to determine if you really are a candidate. You never know…hard lenses could be the perfect solution for you!