Gas Permeable (GP) or Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses, an alternative to soft contact lenses, are made from a hard, oxygen permeable material. GP lenses are currently less popular than soft lenses but offer a number of advantages and are continuing to improve as research and technology advance.
Benefits of GP or RGP Contact Lenses
Because of the strong material and the ability to diffuse oxygen, GP lenses offer a number of advantages over soft contact lenses.
These lenses are custom made for each patient based on the eye’s individual curvature, size, corneal shape.
Due to the rigid material, GPs have a smooth surface and maintain their shape, moving along with the eye to hold their place. This provides sharp and stable vision. Further, they do not dehydrate, which is often a cause for reduced vision with other lenses. Scleral lenses can vault over the irregular areas of the cornea allowing a higher quality of vision with glasses.
Because they last so long, GPs are much more cost effective than soft lenses, especially disposable lenses that require a constant supply. Because they are made to order, there is an initial cost investment and they will take up to a week to manufacture if you do need a replacement pair.
These lenses are ideal for individuals with astigmatism or irregular cornea that may have been told that they cannot wear soft contacts. Because of the rigid nature of the lens, they hold their shape on the eye allowing for more clear and stable vision correction.