Are Hard Contact Lenses an Option for Teens?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, October 27, 2021

Rigid gas permeable lenses, known as ‘hard’ lenses, are worn by about 13% of contact lens wearers in the United States.

Gas permeable contact lenses (also called GP or RGP contacts) are an alternative to soft lenses. These lenses are made of a variety of rigid plastic materials that are oxygen permeable.

RGP lenses provide a number of distinct advantages, especially for teenagers.

Old-fashioned hard contact lenses, which did not allow enough oxygen to reach the eyes, have been replaced by modern RGP lenses.

While some people are hesitant to try hard lenses because they may take longer to get used to, however, RGP lenses provide a number of distinct advantages, especially for teenagers:

1. Contact lenses instill confidence

It’s not easy being a teenager. School, home life, relationships, and figuring out your position in the world can all make you want to run and hide.

Contact lenses can make your teen feel more confident by giving them a more natural look—and they can wear regular sunglasses.

2. RGP lenses may provide better vision

RGP contact lenses maintain their shape when you blink and they do not dry out as quickly as soft lenses.

For many reasons, RGP lenses may provide enhanced vision over soft lenses, as the vision remains sharper and clearer.

When you blink, soft contacts may temporarily move, briefly distorting the vision, as they fall back into shape, the eyes must refocus, sometimes leading to eye strain and fatigue.

Peripheral (side) vision is also improved with contact lenses compared to glasses, as they cover your whole field of vision, whereas glasses just cover the area directly in front of you.

There is no irritating frame to hinder the view with RGP contacts.

3. GP lenses are durable

Soft lenses are easy to tear, especially for first-time wearers who are still getting acclimated to them.

RGP contacts, on the other hand, are composed of a stronger, more robust plastic that is difficult to damage.

Schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you to find out if hard lenses are a good fit for your teen.

SEE RELATED: How to Insert and Remove Hard Contact Lenses

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4. GP lenses are good for sports

GP contact lenses outperform glasses, during sports, which can fog up, fall down your nose, or break at any time during a game.

RGP lenses can also be worn under protective sports eyewear and goggles. Furthermore, the optics of RGP lenses can be sharper than soft lenses, giving any sports players a competitive advantage.

5. RGP lenses are affordable

GP contact lenses last far longer than soft lenses, typically for many years, although there may be higher initial cost.

In the long run RGP lenses are almost always less expensive than soft lenses.

6. RGP lenses allow you wear regular sunglasses

When you’re outside, regardless of your age, you need to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Cataracts and macular degeneration have been related to ultraviolet light.

Wearing your favorite sunglasses is not only fashionable and enjoyable, but also practical.

You can also buy several pairs of non-prescription sun wear styles if you wear contact lenses.

7. RGP lenses are healthy

Hard contact lenses don’t collect tear remnants, such as proteins and lipids on the lens surfaces – which can cause eye infections.

Deposits can be a constant issue with soft lenses and in addition, RGP contacts allow more oxygen to reach your eyes than soft contacts.

If your teen wants contact lenses, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor near you to find out if hard lenses are a good option.

LEARN MORE: Guide to Contact Lenses

While some teens are hesitant to try contact lenses, RGP (hard) lenses provide a number of distinct advantages, especially for teenagers.