Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contacts were the first type of contacts on the market. They are hard contacts and in today’s market, they can be a little hard to find as well.
However, it wasn’t until extremely recently that patients had a choice between RGP and soft lens contacts; especially if they were diagnosed with astigmatism.
In fact, there are still some patients who prefer or have a prescription that requires RPG contacts.
So, here is a little background on RGP contacts, as well as the best brands for this type of lens.
RGP contacts are called rigid because they are made from a durable plastic, which can change the shape of the cornea while they are in use.
Therefore, patients sometimes require these contacts, if they are diagnosed with severe astigmatism, which occurs when the cornea has an abnormal shape.
People with astigmatism are unable to refract light properly, due to the shape of their eye. It is a physical issue and RGP contacts provide a physical solution.
Additionally, the Gas Permeable portion of this contact’s description is important as well. These contacts are designed to allow a substantial amount of oxygen through the plastic, to the eye. This is much healthier for the eye; since our eyes retain their oxygen directly from the air, instead of through the blood like the rest of the human body.
RGP contacts were the second type of contact on the market. The first contacts, PMMA, were made of a plastic called polymethyl methacrylate. These contacts are now obsolete since this plastic is not gas permeable, meaning that these contacts were literally suffocating the patient’s eyes.
RGP lenses were a huge innovation when they first arrived, because contacts, provide users with many benefits over traditional glasses. For example, as mentioned contacts can adjust cornea shape, providing far bigger vision improvements than glasses.
Still, rapid gas permeable contacts can be uncomfortable and hard to get used to, as you are putting a hard plastic lens into your eye. This comfortability aspect is what propelled optometrists to create soft and daily-wear lenses.
With these other advances RGP contacts have become far less common, but they remain a formidable option for contact wearers, especially for those who want a more extreme vision improvement or who simply have become used to this type of lens and don’t mind the feel.
Even if the patient can wear soft lens and daily contacts, some people prefer the RGP contacts because of the keen vision they receive.
While these contacts are no longer the most popular choice, they are still the go-to for many new and veteran contact wearers.
Some people may be required to wear this type of contact, while others prefer it.
So, here are some of the best RGP lenses on the market today:
Boston Equalens is a great choice for RGP contact wearers both through the extended health of the eye, as well as the aesthetics. These are durable contacts, with a Dk rating of 47. This means that they supply plenty of oxygen to the eyes for healthy development.
Additionally, since your eyes are getting so much oxygen flow with these contacts, it will help them appear brighter and with an enhanced natural color.
The Optimum Classic contact lens is known for being more comfortable than other RGP contact class. These lenses are made from a polymer named Roflufocon B. This polymer is on the softer end of the hard contact category, making it easier to insert into the eye, and in theory, more comfortable.
This easy insertion makes Optimum Classic particularly valuable for contact lens beginners who are not yet comfortable with this proces and for anyone who really detests contact lens insertion.
O-Perm 60 contacts are made with a well-known and highly regarded fluorinated polymer. This polymer specializes in resisting protein deposits, increasing comfort and allowing for longer uses of the contacts before cleaning or changing them out. In fact, this brand of contacts is approved to be worn daily for up to a year, which means as a patient, you only need to buy one set of contacts every year.
For all the reasons above, this contact is fantastic for people who don’t like cleaning their contacts or are constantly forgetting to do so, and then paying the consequences of protein build up.
Plus, these lenses are specialized to correct astigmatism.
In today’s world, RGP contacts are the path less traveled, but that doesn’t mean you need to mindlessly follow the crowd and rule them out from the get-go! These lenses are fantastic for anyone who deals with severe astigmatism, is price conscious (since paying for just one contact set a year is way cheaper than most other options), or simply is willing to trade off comfort to not clean or replace their contacts so often, as other types of contacts require.
by Insider Envy Staff