For people with presbyopia, RGP contact lenses, or rigid gas permeable, provide the combination of near and distance acuity. Gas permeable contact lenses are today’s “hard” contact lenses that are made from plastic material that is more flexible than of hard lens material (PMMA).
Hard contact lens is uncomfortable to wear because it doesn’t allow oxygen to pass through it. As healthy eyes need plenty of oxygen, the oxygen blockage may lead to serious eye problems. The invention of oxygen permeable material solves the problem. RGP lens allows oxygen to flow to your corneas, resulting in comfort and eye health.
Gas permeable contacts can be an alternative to soft contact lenses. This is especially true if you have astigmatism and soft contacts don’t produce the desired visual acuity.
RGP Contact Lens Advantages
For people with presbyopia, bifocal RGP contact lenses provide many advantages compared to soft contacts. Here some of the advantages:
- Crisper vision. When you blink, rigid lenses, which have stiffer material, keep their shape on the cornea better than soft contacts. This reduces the needs to refocus and thus provides crisper vision.
- Comfort. The stability of the RGP contacts’ position on your eye makes you adapt to viewing in the near and far zones comfortably. Since the vision segments remain in the best position you won’t experience annoying eye refocusing.
- Healthy. GP contact lenses don’t contain water and don’t absorb moisture from your eyes. They also don’t collect protein and debris from your tears the way soft lenses do. Without the deposits you’re less susceptible to dry eye syndrome. Or, if you have dry eyes you’ll feel more comfortable.
- Durable. Gas permeable contact lenses are made of long-lasting material. With a minimum care, in the long run they may provide less expensive alternative to soft contact lenses.
RGP Contact Lens Disadvantages
As with the above advantages, gas permeable contacts have also some downsides.
- While soft lenses provide more instantaneous comfort, you require an adaptation period with rigid lenses before you feel comfortable. Unlike soft lenses that are still comfortable when you put them on a week later, you have to wear GP lenses every day. If you don’t wear your gas permeable contact lenses for a week, you’ll need adjustment period to get comfortable again.
- In some cases some wearers experience spectacle blur. Although they wear eyeglasses their visions are blurry when lenses are removed. This temporary phenomenon creates inconvenience for some users. They just don’t like the idea of a necessity for wearing RGP full-time.
- Compared to conventional soft contact lens GP contact lenses are much easier to care for. But if you’re used to wear daily disposable soft contact lenses, the GP lenses require more work and caring since you have to rub the lens during the cleaning process. Take the 30-day continuous or extended wear RGP lens, if you like little-or-no-care option.
Wondering whether gas permeable contact lenses are for you? Visit your eye doctor to get fitted with a bifocal RGP contact lens brand — for example, Boston Multivision — that suits your vision improvement and lifestyle needs.