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Home » What's New » The Advantages of Rigid Lenses

The Advantages of Rigid Lenses


We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It's an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season.

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun.

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. Even though you want to look great in your shades, the most important part of choosing sunglasses is making sure they provide adequate protection against UV. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they block all light up to 400 nanometers - UV400. The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for full coverage for your eyes. Dozens of reasonably priced options exist that still provide total ultraviolet protection.

Another important factor in selecting sun wear is the size of the lenses. You want to make sure your glasses cover as much of the area around your eyes as possible. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to penetrate. Lenses that wrap around the temples will also prevent UV waves from entering from the sides.

If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, you should be aware that the sun's rays are stronger at higher elevations, so you need to be especially careful to keep your eyes shaded on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a wide brimmed hat that covers your eyes.

Make a point to be knowledgeable about proper eye protection throughout the year. Don't forget to wear your sunglasses.


Although you may be more accustomed to soft contact lenses, a second, lesser-known type of contact lenses exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, also known as oxygen permeable lenses.

In reality, RGP lenses are a newer technology than soft contacts, which are longer-lasting, allow better vision quality, and provide increased resilience. Further GP lenses can also be less expensive in the long run than soft lenses. Certainly, you need to first discuss with your optometrist to decide if GPs suit your lifestyle. Our optometry office can help you determine whether you’re a candidate for GP lenses.

Because an RGP is composed of inflexible material, it retains its form well when you blink, which can afford crisper vision than the average soft lens. Additionally RGPs are particularly long-lasting. Though they will crack if stepped on, they don’t easily rip like soft lenses. Also, since they consist of materials that don't include water, proteins and lipids from your tears won't stick to GPs as easily as they will to soft lenses. People that are extra particular about vision quality will most likely opt for GPs.

On the downside, GPs must be worn consistently in order to reach optimum comfort. Additionally, some people report “spectacle blur” with RGPs, which is when vision is unclear when the lenses are taken out even while wearing glasses. Although the effect is not permanent, it can necessitate full-time GP wear.

If you are considering GP lenses, make sure to first ask your eye care practitioner to verify if you definitely are a candidate. You never know…hard lenses might be the perfect match for you!