Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses (RGP)

More than 37 million adults and children wear contact lenses in the US, and we are amazed how many know little or nothing about RGP (Gas Permeable) contact lenses. In 2012, GP contact lenses accounted for about 9% of all new contact lens fits and refits in the United States.*

There are three types of contact lens materials:

  • Hard (PMMA) lenses, the original type of contact lens, now virtually obsolete as they provide essentially no oxygen transmission to the cornea
  • RGP contact lenses are made of a breath-able rigid material, were first introduced in 1987
  • Soft lenses, made from gel-like plastic, first introduced in 1971

There are many desirable features of RGP contact lenses to keep in mind when making your decision:

  • Annual cost of solutions is lower than soft lenses
  • RGP provide crisper vision due to the rigidity of the optics of a hard vs a soft lens
  • Excellent for moderate to high amounts of astigmatism
  • Excellent for irregular astigmatism
  • RGP lenses last longer than soft lenses
  • RGP lenses have a lower annual cost due to low solutions cost and long-lasting lens material
  • Can be polished to remove scratches or scuffs (in many cases but not all)
  • Can be used to “flatten” the curve of the front of the eye to lower nearsightedness (Orthokeratology)
  • Less protein build up on the surface of the lenses compared to soft lenses
  • Lower infection rate over soft contact lenses
  • Many forms of bifocals can be inserted into RGP lenses

Ask your doctor today if you are a good candidate for Rigid Gas Permeable lenses (RGP)!