What Are Gas Permeable Contacts?
Gas permeable contact lenses, also known as rigid gas permeable (RGP) or oxygen permeable contact lenses, are a type of contact lens made of rigid, durable materials. Unlike soft contact lenses, which are made of a gel-like material, gas permeable contacts allow oxygen to pass through the lens to reach the cornea, providing better eye health and comfort.
Gas permeable contacts are designed to correct various vision problems, including nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, and presbyopia. They offer sharper and clearer vision compared to soft contact lenses, particularly for individuals with irregular corneas or higher levels of astigmatism.
How Do Gas Permeable Contacts Work?
Gas permeable contacts are made of a hard material that allows oxygen to pass through, promoting healthy corneal metabolism. These lenses have a smaller diameter than soft lenses and provide a more precise refractive correction, as they maintain their shape on the eye, which helps to correct vision distortions.
The small gaps between the lens and the cornea allow tears to flow freely underneath, providing excellent oxygenation and nourishment to the eye. This feature also helps to prevent dryness and discomfort often associated with wearing contact lenses.
Benefits of Gas Permeable Contacts:
1. Crisp and Clear Vision: Gas permeable contacts provide sharper vision compared to soft lenses, especially for individuals with higher levels of astigmatism or other irregular cornea conditions.
2. Long-Lasting and Durable: These lenses are made of rigid materials, making them more durable and resistant to damage compared to soft lenses. With proper care, they can last longer, saving you money in the long run.
3. Eye Health: Gas permeable contacts allow more oxygen to reach the eye, reducing the risk of developing complications such as corneal infections and swelling.
4. Easy Handling: Due to their rigid nature, gas permeable contacts are easier to handle than soft lenses, making insertion and removal simpler, especially for individuals with dexterity issues.
5. Customizable Fit: RGP lenses can be customized to fit the shape and needs of each individual’s eye, offering a more personalized and comfortable fit.
FAQs about Gas Permeable Contacts:
Q: Are gas permeable contacts uncomfortable?
A: Initially, there might be a short adjustment period for your eyes to adapt to the feel of gas permeable lenses. However, once your eyes adjust, they should provide excellent comfort and clarity of vision.
Q: How long can I wear gas permeable contacts?
A: Gas permeable lenses can be worn for longer periods compared to soft lenses. However, it is essential to follow your eye care practitioner’s instructions regarding wearing time, cleaning, and maintenance.
Q: Are gas permeable contacts suitable for astigmatism?
A: Yes, gas permeable contacts are an excellent option for correcting astigmatism. Their rigid nature helps to correct irregularities in the cornea, providing sharper vision.
Q: Can I sleep with gas permeable contacts?
A: It is generally not recommended to sleep with gas permeable contacts, as they are not designed for overnight wear. Sleeping with contacts increases the risk of corneal infections and other complications.
Q: Can I switch from soft lenses to gas permeable contacts?
A: Yes, it is possible to switch from soft lenses to gas permeable contacts. However, as the fit and feel of these lenses are different, you may require an adjustment period to get used to the new lenses.
In conclusion, gas permeable contacts offer numerous benefits, including improved vision, durability, and better eye health. They are an excellent alternative to soft lenses, particularly for individuals with astigmatism or irregular corneas. If you’re considering gas permeable contacts, consult with your eye care practitioner to determine if they are the right choice for you.