Hard contact lenses? Safe for children?
Yes, the modern “hard” lenses are safe. Old-fashioned hard lenses are now obsolete since the introduction of rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP) in late 1970s. RGP contact lenses are not the same as the hard, commonly used in one of the myopia control treatments, orthokeratology.
Unlike the modern RGP contact lenses, old-fashioned hard lenses were made of poly methyl methacrylate (PMMA), did not allow oxygen to pass through. Contact wearers would feel discomfort and tended to feel the lenses all of the time.
Learn more about RGP lenses as myopia control option:
1. RGP lenses are made of firm oxygen permeable polymer, fluorosilicone acrylate.
2. Oxygen allows to pass through easily due to the silicone material. Hence, it allows the eyes of wearers to breathe even overnight wear.
3. RGP lens reshapes cornea for orthokeratology due to its rigidity. Hence, lens material does not tear easily in the eye.
4. RGP lenses are firm and smaller than soft contact lenses, wearer will feel little awareness. Lens will not get stuck in the eye as wearer will not forget to remove!
5. RGP lenses are less resistant to protein deposits that are produced by our tears. Wearers use the lenses for longer period of time without compromising eye health.
6. RGP lenses are easily maintained as they are less frequent to be replaced.
7. Vision is crisp during the daytime if the lens is worn overnight for myopia control. The materials have superior optics that allow the eyes to focus well.
8. Besides myopia control, RGP lenses are fitted for cornea problems like keratoconus and post refractive surgery
Forget about the old-fashioned hard lenses. Think of RGP contact lenses instead.
Author and photo source by SG optometrist, Chua Yee Leen.