Gas Permeable Contact Lenses, Pros And Cons

By: Emanuele Allenti

Gas permeable contact lenses are the modern name for what used to be known as rigid or hard contact lenses. But the gas permeable contact lenses of today are a world away from their forebears. The old style lenses were difficult to get used to and uncomfortable when you finally did get used to them.
Aside from the general lack of comfort afforded by the old lenses they were not very good or healthy for the eyes.

This was mainly because of the fact that they were not permeable. This in effect means that no oxygen could go through the lenses and this meant they were not the best things for your eyes. The eyes need a good supply of oxygen to stay healthy and this is the main area where the newer gas permeable contact lenses have made great improvements over their predecessors.

Gas permeable contact lenses use silicone as opposed to the PMMA that used to be used and this is a great improvement. Silicone allows oxygen tom pass freely to the eyes. This has led to a great improvement to the comfort levels that can be achieved It is also is a great benefit to the health of the eyes and generally improves the experience for the wearer. Although not as comfortable to the average wearer as soft contact lenses, gas permeable contact lenses actually, in many instances can provide a better supply of oxygen to the eyes.

Many wearers who have gotten use to wearing gas permeable contact lenses believe that the quality of vision that they get is better than with the more comfortable soft contact lenses. And many who had opted for soft lenses and had not been impressed with the clarity, have been impressed by they greater precision of sight that gas permeable contact lenses can deliver. It is, of course, purely a matter of personnel opinion as to whether this makes up for the greater comfort and ease of soft contact lenses.

Part of the reason for the greater clarity is the very fact that the material from which they are made is hard rather than soft. This means that when the eye blinks the gas permeable contact lenses stay the same shape, as they were when the eye was open. This means that there is no readjusting of the lenses back to their normal shape, and consequently the vision remains somewhat clearer than with soft contact lenses that allow the eye to change focus slightly when the eye blinks and then have to regain its original focus.

Gas permeable contact lenses also tend to last longer than soft lenses because they are stronger. They are not so easily damaged and are more likely to give a greater return, providing the prescription does not change, in terms of longevity, than other lenses. This can be an important factor if you are on a limited budget and want to get the best value for money from your lenses.

One of the problems that are associated with gas permeable contact lenses is the comfort aspect. When you start wearing them at first they can be quite uncomfortable. It takes a little while to get used to them but it is worth persisting. After a while they user can get a very good level of comfort with them and be perfectly happy when wearing them.

This is very good if you wear then every day but if you only wear them intermittently or during the week, for example at work, then you will found that when you start wearing them again the level of comfort that you built up with them has gone and you have to get used to them all over again. Of course this is not a problem if you wear them every day, but is worth considering if you do not always require the extra vision and prefer to do without your lenses on occasion.

Choosing whether to buy soft contact lenses or gas permeable contact lenses is really a matter of personal choice. It depends whether your main focus is on comfort and wearability. Or whether your main priority is clarity of vision, or longevity of the lenses and the overall cost. The best person to help you make this decision is your optometrist and it is always worth taking the time to talk it over with them before making a decision.

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