While soft contacts are more common, another less familiar kind of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, also known as oxygen permeable lenses.
In truth, RGP lenses are a newer technology than soft contacts, which are longer-lasting, offer better vision quality, and offer increased durability and deposit resistance. Further RGP lenses can also be less expensive in the long term than soft lenses. Of course, its best to first discuss with an eye care practitioner to determine if GPs suit your needs. Our optometry office can help you figure out whether GP lenses are suitable for you.
Since an RGP is made of stiff material, it does a good job of retaining its form when you blink, which tends to allow for clearer vision than the average soft lens. Furthermore RGPs are extremely durable. Although they will break if stepped on, they don’t easily rip like soft lenses. Also, since they consist of substances that don't contain water, proteins or lipids from your tears won't stick to RGPs as readily as they do to soft lenses. Those of you who are extra particular about quality of vision will probably choose RGPs.
RGPs are also sometimes preferred for those with special considerations such as astigmatism, presbyopia or keratoconus, where soft lenses may not fit properly or offer enough variety. GPs are also a better choice for contact users post refractive surgery.
When checking out hard lenses, make sure to first speak to your eye care practitioner to determine if you truly are a suitable candidate. Who knows…hard lenses could be the perfect match for you!