Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
Contact lenses come in two big varietes, soft and rigid. Old rigid lenses were called “hard contacts,” these lenses were made out of a material called PMMA and are hardly ever used any longer. Modern rigid lenses are made out of materials that are durable, flexible, and breathable materials and are called Gas Permeable (GP) lenses. In this case the gas is oxygen, so these lenses allow the eyes to breath.
There are several advantages to having a rigid lens over a soft lens. I will list out what we believe are the biggest advantages that GP lenses have:
- The biggest advantage is that they hold their shape. As a result this allows us to much more easily correct vision and achieve clarity that may even exceed glasses. If a lens is flexing and changing shape every time you blink it can make it very hard to get “perfect vision.”
- GP lenses are custom made. Naturally, this lets us make them for each person’s unique eyes. We can control the size, curvatures, and powers of the lenses. Because we have this complete control we can make a lens that is as or even more comfortable than most soft lenses.
- Increased comfort for many dry eye patients. The materials that are used for GP do not pull moisture away from the eye’s surface. This can help improve comfort during wear for people who have issues with dry eye.
- GPs are extremely durable. When combined with proper care, they can last from 1 to 2 years. With most soft lenses we don’t recommend wearing a pair of lenses for more than 30 days due to increased risk of infections and decreased comfort.
There is no one size fits all contact lens available. Most soft lenses are a good “off the shelf” solution to people’s visual problems. However for many patients a custom lens is needed to get the best possible vision. Dr Karres is more than happy to work with you to improve your vision. Feel free to schedule an appointment below, call us, or click the “contact us” button to send us a secure message if you would like more information.