Gas-permeable contact lenses (also known as GP’s, gas permeable, or RGP’s, rigid gas permeable) are lenses that correct vision and that are made out of a rigid, gas-permeable material. GP’s have been around for a long time, and in fact they pre-date the modern soft contact lenses that so many patients know and wear today. Gas permeable lenses are still a great option for many of our patients.
|Patients That Benefit from GP Lenses
||Why GP’s are Beneficial
|Very Young Children
||GP’s have a much small diameter than soft lenses, and are therefore easier to insert and remove from young children who have small eyes.
|Patients with Keratoconus
||Keratoconic eyes require a rigid lens design to mask the irregular astigmatism associated with this disease.
|Post-LASIK / PRK Patients
||GP lenses can be carefully designed to accommodate the corneal curvatures of patients that have had LASIK or PRK. These “reverse-geometry lenses offer great vision to these patients.
|Patients with High Prescriptions
||Soft lenses come in a wide variety of powers, though for the extreme nearsighted and farsighted contact lens prescriptions, GP’s are available in nearly any power imaginable.
|Patients with High Astigmatism
||Patients with large amounts of astigmatism benefit from GP’s in a design called a “Bitoric lens.” These bitoric contact lenses can offer much better vision and lens stability than comparable soft lens designs.
||Patients that require separate distance and near prescriptions are known as “presbyopic.” A multifocal contact lens offers these separate reading and distance prescriptions in a single lens and offer relief from eyestrain. Soft multifocals certainly exist, though they have limited parameters and do not correct astigmatism.
|Patients Unable to Tolerate Contact Wear During the Day
||Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) lenses are worn at night and removed after waking in the morning. During the day, the patient experiences great vision without any contact lenses being worn!
|Patients with Challenging Corneas
||Scleral lenses are a type of gas-permeable lens. Scleral lenses are large-diameter gas-permeable lenses that are used to treat keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration (PMD), post-surgical ectasia, extreme dry eye, and post-surgical corneas.
|Patients That Currently Wear GP’s
||If you’re used to GP’s, and prefer to keep wearing them, we are happy to keep you in your favorite lens design!
For most new contact lens wearers with common amounts of refractive error, our doctors will typically fit soft lenses. Soft lenses are most often discarded daily (though some reusable soft lenses can be worn for up to a month) and are easier to learn how to wear than GP lenses. If your doctor explains that your vision and eye health would be best-served by being fit in a GP lens, don’t worry! These lenses are still easy to learn to wear, extremely healthy for the eyes, and offer great vision.
If you would like to schedule your contact lens fitting as part of your annual comprehensive eye and vision examination, please call our office at (303) 450-2020, or use the button below to schedule online: