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How to Insert, Remove, and Handle Rigid (Hard) Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Updated on October 3, 2013

Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are best designed for individuals with high astigmatism, high myopia or high hyperopia. Optically, RGP lenses offer the best vision to correct for refractive error. They surpass soft contact lenses in vision acuity.

Unfortunately, due to their rigid nature, they are not nearly as comfortable as soft contact lenses. Also, they can not be disposed frequently and so if you lose a pair you will have to buy an entire new set.

RGP lenses can last several years as long as you take good care of them. They can be polished from time to time at your local optometrist office.

Insertion and removal of RGP lenses is completely different than with soft lenses. Below are step by step instructions.

Instructions on Insertion

1. Wash hands thoroughly

2. Open up contact lens case and always reach for the right lens first.

Make it a habit to always put on the right one first and take it out first so you don't get the two mixed up (important if there is a different prescription in each eye).

3. Place lens in palm of hand and apply a couple drops of contact lens solution. Rub lens gently against the palm of your hand with a finger tip.

4. Now place len on tip of index finger (right index finger if you are right handed and left finger if left handed).

5. Do make sure your finger tip is dry before placing lens on finger tip.

6. With the aid of both hands, make sure you have a good grip of both upper and lower eyelids. So if you try to blink, you will not be able to.

7. Look into mirror and slowly approach the colored part of eye.

8. Apply gentle pressure to allow the lens to adhere to the eye.

9. Slowly back away finger

10. Slowly blink to allow the contact lens to settle on eye.

11. Make sure lens is on eye correctly. Look into the mirror or check to see if you can focus out of that eye.

Instructions on Removal- OPTION 1

1. Wash hands thoroughly

2. Hold back both upper and lower eyelids as you gently apply suction with your suction device given to you by your eye doctor (see video below).

3. Place lens in contact lens case.

4. Fill case with multi-purpose rigid contact lens solution. These lenses can also be stored dry.

Instructions on Removal- OPTION 2

1. Wash hands thoroughly

2. You will be removing the RGP via a eyelid closure technique. Cup your hand under your eye because the RGP will fly out of your eye. You must catch it!

3. Place your index finger at the outer corner of your eye.

4. At the same time, you will want to look down, blink and pull your eyelids outward with your index finger (see video below for clarification).

5. Place lens in contact lens case.

6.Fill case with multi-purpose rigid contact lens solution. These lenses can also be stored dry.



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    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi harmony155, and what an excellent hub this is.

      I use to have problems with contact lenses and then finally decided to have lasik surgery. I had lasik almost 10 years ago and, with the exception of a few little glitches here and there, it has for the most part worked for me.

      Excellent hub - voted up


    • harmony155 profile image

      harmony155 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Dream on & Tirelesstraveler: everyone eventually finds their own techniques to remove RGP lenses. They can be quite a struggle initially and the whole family usually gets involved in the ordeal of finding a displaced lens or a lens that has rolled onto the carpet! Those are scary moments!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      Where was this hub when my mom was wearing contacts. We have spent hours crawling around on the floor looking for her contacts. She started wearing them when I was about 10. We found that you can float contacts out of your eye into a bowl of water by placing your face into the bowl. When I was ten I never thought mom would wear contacts very long. She wore them until she died at the age of 90.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 5 years ago

      A very interesting hub.One that many people would not read because they would normally have a soft contact lens.I however have a hard contact lens and found your hub very informative . Do to an eye accident years ago.I use to use a plunger to remove the contact lens and the contact lens would slip into the white of the eye.The more I tried to take it out the more it bounced out of sight.Years later I learned how to take it out and let it bunce onto a soft towel.Where it would lay.Thanx for sharing and I tried the you tube video and it didn't work.I don't know why?Thanx again for sharing.