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Rigid Contact Lenses


See the Benefits of Hard Gas Permeable (GP) Contacts

Rigid contact lenses offer an alternative to soft contact lenses for people who need vision correction. Many people relate to rigid contacts as an old-fashioned type of eyewear, replaced by soft contacts and silicone hydrogel. Although soft contacts are still more popular, rigid contacts are now making a comeback. Let’s look at what these hard gas permeable (GP) lenses have to offer.

Composition of Hard Contacts

Rigid contact lenses are composed from durable compounds that contain silicone, which makes them oxygen-permeable. This means that your eyes are able to breathe. This material is the reason why hard lenses have so many advantages.

Advantages of Rigid Contact Lenses

  • High oxygen permeability

This increases the health, safety, and comfort of hard lenses. You may be surprised to learn that many rigid contacts on the market today actually permit more oxygen to reach the cornea than most soft contacts. As a result, the risk of eye problems is reduced.


  • No water


Rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses do not contain water, which makes them less prone to the build-up of bacteria and protein deposits. This lowers your chances of eye infections and keeps your lenses cleaner.


  • Smaller size


The smaller diameter of GP lenses covers up less of the cornea, which promotes healthier wearing.


  • Enable healthy tear flow


When you blink while wearing rigid contacts, they hold their shape and move on your eye. This movement facilitates the flow of healthy tears under the lens, thereby helping to prevent and treat dry eye.


  • Sharper vision


Many people, especially when they have astigmatism, achieve sharper vision with hard lenses. People testify that they see much crisper and clearer than they ever did with soft lenses. Also, their lack of water makes it impossible for rigid contacts to dry out, which is a common cause of blurry vision when wearing soft contacts.


  • Durable and long lasting


The life span of rigid contacts is much longer than soft lenses. Because they are hard, you don’t need to worry about tearing them, and they usually last at least a year. This also makes them cost-effective.


  • Myopia control


Myopia control can be an added bonus for children who wear hard contact lenses. Research suggests that wearing GP lenses may slow the progression of nearsightedness in some kids. In addition, specialized GP lenses, known as ortho-k, are worn while sleeping in order to reshape the cornea, improve vision, and provide myopia control.

Plasma Treatment of Rigid Contact Lenses

Plasma treatment describes a process in which high-energy radio waves blast a finished contact lens inside an oxygen-rich vacuum. During this forceful action, oxygen radicals attack the lens surface and dislodge hydrocarbons (such as oils) that may have been left as residue on the lens from the manufacture. Because of plasma treatment, the lens surface becomes ionized and attracts liquids more efficiently. Overall, the lens is much more “wettable”, making it clearer, more comfortable, and more resistant to unhealthy and irritating deposits.

It is important to note that the hydrophilic layer of rearranged molecules on the lens surface is very thin. Over time, abrasive cleaning products can therefore destroy and remove plasma treatment from your rigid contact lenses.

Ready to Try Rigid Contact Lenses? Call Washington Eye Doctors

To find out if gas permeable (GP) rigid contact lenses are right for you, call our eye care center to book your eye exam and contact lens fitting.