RGP Contact Lenses
What Are RGP Lenses?
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) or gas permeable (GP) contact lenses are made from a rigid plastic material. They should not be mistaken for the original hard contacts which are made out of polymethacrylate (PMMA) and are rarely prescribed today. Most RGP lenses are made from silicone. They aren’t as flexible as the silicone hydrogel of soft contacts, but are still oxygen permeable.
Who Needs RGP Lenses?
Rigid gas permeable contacts are generally prescribed for people with extreme astigmatism, higher-order aberrations (strong prescription), or unique vision conditions such as monovision or lazy eye. RGP lenses are more durable, can last for years with the proper care, and offer clearer vision.
Wearing RGP Contact Lenses
Compared to soft contacts, RGP contact lenses have a longer adjustment period. They don’t cover the entire iris of the eye like soft contacts do, so you will initially feel them when you blink. They may be uncomfortable at first, but will eventually feel as comfortable as soft contact lenses once your eyes get used to them.
Caring for RGP Contacts
The solutions and cleaners that are used for soft contacts cannot be used on RGP lenses. These require separate care systems for wetting, cleaning, and disinfecting. Your eye doctor should inform you on which care systems to use for your RGP contacts.