Gone are the days when the only choices to correct vision impairments were glasses or contacts. Thanks to advancements in technology, we now have several different options for types of contacts. Daily wear or extended wear? Spherical or toric? Soft or gas-permeable? Whether or not you choose daily wear or extended wear depends on how often you use contacts, your lifestyle, and personal preference. Your optometrist will help you determine whether or not you need toric lenses to correct astigmatism or spherical lenses to correct myopia or hyperopia. However, the choice of whether or not you should choose gas-permeable contact lenses isn’t as clear-cut as the other options. Keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of gas-permeable contact lenses to help make your decision a bit easier.
Remember that this article is just a starting point. You should consult with your optometrist before making a final choice.
Pros and Cons of Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses
Gas-permeable contact lenses provide clear, crisp images to correct most vision problems. They are commonly referred to as hard contact lenses, but be careful not to confuse them with the rigid contact lenses of the 1950s, which doctors usually don’t prescribe anymore. Although these contact lenses are rigid, they are much more comfortable than the contacts of days gone by. In fact, some people with dry eyes find them to be more comfortable than soft contact lenses. This is because gas-permeable lenses are breathable, which also means they reduce the risk of eye infections. And because gas-permeable contact lenses don’t contain water, they are less likely to hold bacteria and collect protein deposits.
Thanks to their strong and durable makeup, these lenses are less likely to tear and are easy to disinfect. Most gas-permeable lenses must be removed for cleaning each night; however, some designs can be worn for a week or even 30 days straight. Always consult with your optometrist before sleeping in your contact lenses.
Since gas-permeable contact lenses are more rigid than soft contact lenses, you might experience an adjustment period. It could take just a few days or even a few weeks for this type of lens to feel right. You’ll need to wear the lenses consistently because if you take a weeklong break, your eyes might have to readjust to the lenses again. In addition, if you play a high-contact sport (such as football or hockey), you could have trouble keeping gas-permeable contact lenses in your eyes. Due to their small size, they tend to fall out more easily. Ask your optometrist for a trial pair of gas-permeable lenses before making the commitment.
Consider Hybrid Lenses
Are you having a hard time figuring out if hard or soft contact lenses are right for you? Luckily, you can get the best of both worlds by choosing hybrid lenses. Hybrid contact lenses have a hard, gas-permeable center, so they are just as breathable as traditional gas-permeable lenses. However, they also have a soft outer ring, which makes them just as comfortable as soft contact lenses. Hybrid contact lenses can correct a variety of vision impairments including nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, age-related loss of close-up vision, and irregular corneal curvature (source).
Now that you understand the pros and cons of gas-permeable contact lenses, you should be equipped with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision – but there’s always more to learn. When you visit your optometrist, ask him or her to tell you more about gas-permeable contact lenses and hybrid lenses if you’re interested.
If you have any questions about caring for contact lenses, seek help from an optometrist. If you live in southwest Missouri, stop by Heffington’s. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an e-mail to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We would be happy to help you learn more about the pros and cons of gas-permeable contact lenses.