RGP Lenses are rigid lenses made of a hard plastic that is permeable to oxygen.
In fact, these lenses provide more oxygen to the eye than traditional soft lenses. They also give better vision, durability and are more resistant to deposits than soft contact lenses.
Because they last longer than soft lenses, they can be less expensive in the long run. The reason why not everyone wears gas permeable lenses is because soft lenses provide instant comfort, whereas gas permeable lenses require an adaptation period before they are as comfortable as soft lenses.
Other advantages of hard lenses over soft lenses are sharper vision, improved durability; they don’t tear as easily as soft lenses. Protein and fat deposits that normally stick to soft lenses don’t adhere as easily to hard lenses; this also helps protect against infection.
In addition, they can last for years as long as the prescription doesn’t change and can be less expensive in the long run.
We favor rigid gas permeable lenses over soft lenses for the following cases:
• For those who want the sharpest vision possible.
• For those with astigmatism that is beyond the range that can be corrected with soft contact lenses or for those whom soft contacts don’t produce the desired vision.
• Those with presbyopia. There are many bifocal and multifocal lens designs.
• Those affected by keratoconus where the cornea is cone-shaped and causes a lot of visual distortion. Most of the time, in this case, rigid contact lenses are a long term treatment. Because this is a disease that progresses, it is important for these lenses to be fitted with care and checked annually by a contact lens specialist. We design these lenses for any degree of keratoconus. For most, this allows improved comfort and vision.
• Those who require contact lenses after surgery.
Some patients fulfilling the criteria above will require scleral lenses.
The procedure of fitting rigid lenses is simple. We try diagnostic trial lenses on your eye to assess the fit of the lens as well as vision and comfort. This allows us to do tests while you are wearing the lenses in order to find the right prescription and fit. If the lens is in good position and moves properly, the lenses will be ordered. Before you leave, our eye doctor takes the time to make sure you are proficient in inserting and removing the contact lenses in a safe and effective way.
After we receive the lens and ensure that all the parameters are correct, we have you return to ensure that the lens is still fitting properly and you’re still satisfied with your vision. At this visit, if safe and healthy lens wear and good vision is confirmed, you can go home with your new contact lenses. Your doctor will also be able to write a contact lens prescription for you. This prescription will designate the contact lens power, the curvature of the lens (base curve), the lens diameter and the lens name, manufacturer recommended for you and additional information pertaining to the rigid gas permeable lens chosen.
Regardless of the frequency or duration of contact lens wear, your eyes should be examined at least once a year to make sure you are continuing to tolerate contact lens wear.