Contact lenses are a great alternative to glasses. Contacts provide a more natural appearance, you don't have to worry about frames or dirty lenses obstructing your view, and they are great for active individuals. There are plenty of types of contacts on the market today. The most commonly prescribed contacts are soft lenses. Some people cannot wear soft lenses, and rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are often prescribed. The eye doctor at Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates can prescribe gas permeable lenses if necessary.
How Do Gas Permeable Lenses Differ From Soft Lenses?
Soft lenses are flexible, and the shape fits the shape of your eye. Gas permeable lenses are made of fluoro silicone acrylate, and there are rigid. They won't form to fit the shape of your eye. Instead, your eye will form to the shape of the lens.
What Are the Benefits Of Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses?
Gas permeable lenses have several benefits that you cannot get from soft lenses. These include:
- Improved eye health
- They can diffuse oxygen
- RGPs are less likely to transmit infection
- They are easy to clean
- These lenses retain their shape and don't dry out the way that soft lenses can
- You can wear the same pair for up to two years
- RGP's provider clearer vision than soft lenses do
- They are affordable
- They are custom made to fit your eyes perfectly
Correcting Refractive Errors
Rigid gas permeable lenses are often used to correct refractive errors in people with very high prescriptions. If you require a very powerful prescription, RGPs can correct the error more effectively.
Gas Permeable Lenses For Eyes That Are "Hard To Fit For Contacts"
There are certain conditions of the eye that make you hard to fit for contacts. This means that soft lenses cannot treat the refractive error or that they can worsen your condition. A few conditions of the eye where rigid gas permeable lenses are the better option include:
- Keratoconus: In a healthy eye, the cornea is round like a ball. If you have keratoconus, your cornea is not strong enough to hold its shape, and it bulges into a cone-shape. Because soft lenses adapt to the shape of your cornea, they are not a good option. Rigid gas permeable lenses hold their shape, which will keep your cornea's round shape.
- Giant papillary conjunctivitis: This is a form of conjunctivitis that causes small round bumps to develop underneath the eyelid. It causes eye redness, itching, swelling, mucus, and blurry vision. People with this condition report feeling like they have something in their eyes. Soft lenses are not a good option if you have this condition because they can make it worse. Because gas permeable lenses are less likely to transmit infection and they diffuse oxygen, they are an excellent alternative.
- Dry eyes: Dry eye syndrome can make wearing soft contacts difficult because they dry the eyes out even more. Gas permeable lenses allow oxygen to diffuse, drying out eyes out less.
If you have a condition that makes you hard to fit for contacts, our doctors of optometry at Dr. Dorothy Park & Associates in Columbia SC can fit you with gas permeable lenses. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.