A rigid contact lens is just that, rigid. These lenses are made of plastic that does not change shape like soft contact lenses. Also referred to as rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGPs), these lenses allow oxygen to pass through the material, which is needed by the cornea. RGPs are not disposable, in that one pair may be used for months to years, depending on changes in prescription, scratching or loss. Unlike soft lenses, RGPs do not have water within the material.
Rigid gas permeable lenses float on the tear film, and therefore move with blinking. Because of this, RGPs are recommended for certain types of prescriptions and conditions, offering superior optics once the wearer adapts to the lens.
Gas permeable lenses are available to correct myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia. These lenses are custom made to the parameters of your eye and therefore, will need to be designed by your optometrist.
Gas permeable lenses are recommended for those wanting superior optics over a soft contact lens. Certain prescriptions and corneal curvatures make RGPs the primary option. Visual expectations may make RGPs a better option than other types of lenses.
Contact lenses float on a fine layer of tear film, which keeps them comfortable and in position. Patients with dry eye syndrome either do not have enough natural tear film, or what they do have drains away too quickly. This can make wearing regular contact lenses difficult and uncomfortable. However, the design of rigid lenses keeps moisture on the surface of the eyes, eliminating some of the effects of dry eyes. This may make rigid lenses a better choice for patients with dry eyes.
Irregular corneas cause light to be refracted incorrectly when it enters our eyes, triggering vision problems. Issues arising from irregularly shaped corneas cannot be completely corrected using glasses or soft contact lenses. Therefore, rigid lenses are recommended to provide sharper and more accurate vision.
For more information about rigid gas permeable lenses, please do not hesitate to call our expert eye care team.