Odd as it might sound, your eyes need to “breathe.” By that, we mean that oxygen has to be able to reach the front surface of your eyes, the cornea. That’s one of the primary selling points of rigid gas-permeated (RGP) contact lenses, according to our optometrist at Advanced Eyecare Specialists in Falmouth.
Sometimes simply called gas-permeated, or GP lenses, these contacts do a better job than soft lenses of letting oxygen get through to the surface of the eyes. Let’s take a closer look at what RGP contact lenses are and how they’re different from soft contacts.
How RGP Contact Lenses Are Different
RGP contacts are smaller and firmer than soft contact lenses. They are made of a silicon compound that allows oxygen to permeate the surface of the lens more effectively than soft lenses. Increasing the eyes’ oxygen intake is important in addressing certain eye conditions.
RGP lenses move when you blink, making it easier for the eye’s tears to get under the lens. These tears refresh the cornea. The fact that RGP contacts are smaller in diameter than most soft lenses is another important feature. RGP lenses cover less of the cornea, which is another reason oxygen can more freely circulate where it needs to go. Since they better maintain their shape in the eye for longer, RGP contacts help keep vision sharper than soft lenses. These contacts also last longer, and some research shows that they can slow down the progression of nearsightedness in children.
Give it a Little Time
RGP lenses aren’t necessarily for everyone. These hard contacts can, at first, be less comfortable to wear than soft contact lenses. Your eyes might take a little while to adjust to the new sensation. Some patients take several days or even weeks to grow accustomed to RGP contact lenses. Once your eyes do get used to the RGP contacts, you will likely find the hard contacts quite comfortable – maybe even more comfortable than your old soft lenses.
See if RGP Lenses are Right for You
Our optometrist at Advanced Eyecare Specialists can tell you if RGP contact lenses are right for you. We have years of experience matching residents of Falmouth, MA, and the surrounding areas with the perfect pair of contacts. For more information on RGP contacts, call us at (508) 444-8691 or request an appointment online.