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Gas Permeable Lenses: Are You a Candidate?


Although you may be more accustomed to soft contact lenses, a second, less familiar brand of contact lens materials exists: gas permeable (GP) contact lenses, sometimes referred to oxygen permeable lenses.

In reality, hard lenses involve more modern technology than soft contacts, and they are longer-lasting, allow finer vision quality, and provide increased durability and deposit resistance. Further GP lenses can also be less expensive in the long run than soft lenses. Of course, its best to first consult with an eye care practitioner to decide if GPs suit your needs. Our optometry office can assist you in determining if hard lenses are suitable for you.

Since an RGP is made of stiff material, it maintains its shape well when you blink, which tends to provide clearer vision than the typical soft lens. Furthermore GPs are especially durable. Though they can break if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Also, since they consist of substances that don't contain water, proteins and lipids from your tears won't stick to GPs as readily as they will to soft lenses. Those of you who are especially particular about quality of vision will probably choose RGPs.

On the downside, GPs must be worn consistently in order to achieve maximum comfort. Additionally, some people report “spectacle blur” with RGPs, which is when vision is unclear when contact lenses are removed even while wearing glasses. Although the effect is not permanent, it can necessitate constant GP usage.

When considering GP lenses, make sure to first ask your optometrist to ascertain if you really are a candidate. You never know…hard lenses might be the right match for you!