While soft contact lenses are most common, a second, less familiar kind of contact lens materials exists: gas permeable (GP) contact lenses, sometimes called oxygen permeable lenses.
In reality, GP lenses are a more modern technology than soft contacts, which are longer-lasting, offer finer vision quality, and provide better durability. Further they can also be less expensive in the long term than soft lenses. Certainly, you need to first discuss with an eye doctor to decide if hard lenses suit your needs. Our optometry office can help you determine if RGP lenses are suitable for you.
Since a GP is composed of stiff material, it maintains its shape well when you blink, which tends to afford crisper vision than the typical soft lens. In addition RGPs are extremely durable. Though they can crack if stepped on, they don’t tear easily like soft lenses. Further, because they consist of substances that don't contain water, proteins and lipids from your tears won't adhere to GPs as readily as they will to soft lenses. Those of you who are especially particular about vision quality will most likely opt for GPs.
On the downside, GPs must be worn consistently in order to achieve maximum comfort. Further, there are some who report “spectacle blur” with hard lenses, which is when vision is unclear when the lenses are taken out even while wearing glasses. Though the effect is not permanent, it can necessitate full-time GP usage.
If you're considering GP lenses, make sure to first ask your eye doctor to determine if you truly are a suitable candidate. You never know…hard lenses might be the perfect match for you!