How to Store Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Gas permeable contact lenses also known as RGP or GP lenses are less popular than their fellow soft contact lenses. However, it provides sharper vision, especially for people with astigmatism.

Storing your GP lens is necessary to maintain its quality and ensure good eye health. A major advantage of proper care is the avoidance of contamination.

This article will explain gas-permeable contact lenses, cleaning steps, and general lens cleaning dos and don’ts.

What are rigid gas permeable RGP lenses?

How to Store Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

GP or RGP lenses are made from a rigid oxygen-permeable material. Their resistance to protein deposits and other deposits makes them easy to clean. Another distinguishing fact about these lenses is that they can last for a long period, longer than your soft contact lenses.

There are Rigid gas permeable lenses but they are not the same as hard contact lenses. Hard contacts are usually made of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) but with RGP lenses, silicone came into the designs. The silicon made them more flexible and allowed the passage of oxygen for great comfort.

Removing RGP contact lenses

Removing your GP lenses can be tasking but it becomes easy once you get the hang of it. No matter the lens, always wash and dry your hands thoroughly before inserting or removing your contact lenses. Let’s discuss the traditional blink-and-pull method in removing your RGP lenses.

  • Before removing your gas-permeable lenses, ensure that the lenses are on your cornea.
  • To remove your right lens, place your index finger and middle finger in the outer corner of your right eyelid.
  • Then, look straight ahead and ensure the edges of your eyelid are tight against your eye.
  • The next step is to blink hard and the lens will pop out.
  • Follow the same steps for your left lens while reversing your hands.If you have trouble with the traditional blink-and-pull method, there is another way to follow:
  • Place your middle finger against your upper eyelid
  • Place your middle and forefinger against your bottom eyelid with your other hand.
  • While looking straight ahead, push your fingers against your eye and move it towards your ear.

Gas Permeable Lens Care Systems

Never neglect the lens care system your eye care professional provides for you. Previously, GP lenses were rinsed and cleaned with tap water. However, after several studies and research, ophthalmologists recommend against this practice. Tap water contains various micro-organisms and can lead to eye infections when used to rinse lenses. The current recommendation is an approved contact lens solution for your GP lenses.

Similar to your soft lenses, you can use either of the below for your lens care system:

  • A single multipurpose solution for disinfecting, cleaning, and storage or
  • The combined use of separate cleaning and disinfecting/storage solutions

GP Lens Cleaning Steps

How to Store Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Follow the outlined steps to clean your RGP lenses after wearing them:

  • Never forget to wash your hands and dry them thoroughly
  • Start by removing your right lens and dropping it in your palm.
  • Gently rub your lens in a back-forth motion using a multipurpose or cleaning solution.
  • Now, rinse your lens and gently rub again before the final rinsing.
  • Store in a lens storage case filled with fresh solution.
  • Follow the above steps for your left lens.

Cleaning RGP lenses

In cleaning your RGP lenses, don’t postpone the cleaning. Clean them immediately after you remove them to ensure easy removal of debris and bacteria. Don’t forget your prescribed contact solution for the cleaning.

Some eye care professionals recommend an enzymatic cleaner. This cleaner helps with the removal of protein deposits and occurs weekly.

While there are several generic and store brands of cleaning solutions, follow your eye doctor’s recommendation. Some brands of contact lens solutions may be inappropriate for your RGP lens material and lead to eye infection on usage.

How To Clean Your Contact Lens Case

How to Store Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

While it is important to clean your contact lenses, never forget your contact lens storage cases. Your contact lens case mustn’t be found unclean.

To clean your lens storage case, remove the old solution and rub the inside with clean fingers for at least 5 seconds. Then, fill the case with a fresh multipurpose solution or a sterile liquid. Pour out the liquid and air dry the open and empty case upside down.

Your lens storage cases are prone to bacteria and other microorganisms. Your eye care professional will recommend you replace your GP lens storage case monthly or every three months.

General lens care instructions and Dos and Don’ts

How to Store Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Irrespective of the type of contact lenses (hard or soft lenses), there are general lens care instructions you must follow. They include:

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly with mild and basic soap before handling your contact lenses
  • Never top off the liquid in your lens case or re-use an old solution.
  • Air-dry contact lens case after rinsing. Also, do the same before filling it with a fresh solution.
  • You must keep your contact lens case clean and replace it every three months.
  • Avoid wearing your lenses in a hot tub or during water activities like swimming.
  • Avoid exposing your soft contact lenses to water. Doing so, causes them to expand.
  • Follow the directions and guidelines of your eye care professional concerning your contact lens.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses unless approved by your eye doctor.
  • Your spare RGP lenses should be stored dry for long-term storage.
  • Do not change your contact lens care products without first consulting with your eye doctor.
  • Wear and replace your contact lenses according to your prescription
  • Do not store your soft contact lenses in the storage case for an extended time.

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How long can you wear RGP lenses?

If you’re aiming for comfort with your RGP lenses, wear them regularly. Unlike soft contact lenses that are comfortable instantly, RGP lenses take time to get used to. Your duration of wear depends on you and what your eye care professional wants.