Charlotte Contact Lens Institute

GP Lenses

GP Contact Lenses

A Reliable Option for Both Clear Vision and Comfort

GP Contact Lenses

- Lenses Used for Decades by Millions of Americans

Corneal gas permeable (GP) contact lenses are the lenses of many names! Whether people refer to them as RGP, rigid gas permeable, corneal GP, gas permeable, or “hard” contacts, these lenses have been used for decades by millions of Americans, and we will call them GP contact lenses.

The majority of patients who come to Charlotte Contact Lens Institute are unable to see well with traditional soft contact lenses or glasses, conventional scleral contact lenses, and/or glasses. For patients who require specialty contact lenses, GP contact lenses are great options. These lenses are made from a special plastic material that allows oxygen to pass through to the cornea, promoting eye health and comfort.

A common question is whether scleral lenses or GP lenses is a better option? Many patients who currently wear GP lenses also have potential interest in scleral contact lenses as an alternative to GPs. With the help of world-class technology and their skill and experience, our doctors will be able to explain the pros and cons of GPs vs. sclerals for those who are open to a possible switch.

A typical initial exam is 1.5 to 2 hours of one-on-one time with the doctor, and during this time you will be presented with a variety of treatment options.

The Top Doctors for GP Contact Lenses in Charlotte

Rigid Gas Permeable (GP) lenses are made from a special plastic material that allows oxygen to pass through to the cornea, promoting eye health and comfort. These lenses maintain their shape on the eye, offering consistent, clear vision, and are particularly effective in correcting astigmatism. GPs are often prescribed for conditions such as high astigmatism, corneal scarring, keratoconus, or complications from eye surgeries like radial keratotomy (RK) or LASIK. In these cases, soft lenses, which conform to the eye’s distorted surface, are less effective, while GPs provide a smooth refractive surface for clearer vision.

The advantages of RGPs over soft lenses include sharper vision for certain eye conditions due to their rigid material, greater durability, and a lower risk of bacterial accumulation. However, they can be less comfortable initially and require a longer adaptation period. RGPs are also more prone to dislodgement and may cause discomfort in dusty environments or lead to dryness symptoms.

In contrast, soft lenses offer immediate comfort and are less likely to be dislodged, but they may not provide the same level of vision correction for certain conditions. The choice between RGPs and soft lenses typically hinges on the specific needs of the patient’s eyes, their lifestyle, and comfort preferences.

Multifocal Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses are an advanced solution for individuals with presbyopia, a common age-related condition that affects near vision after around the age of 40.

These lenses are designed with multiple prescription zones built into each lens, allowing for clear vision at varying distances. Unlike single-vision lenses, multifocal RGPs enable the wearer to see clearly both near and far, seamlessly transitioning between different focal points. This design addresses the need for multiple pairs of glasses or the constant switching between reading and distance glasses

At Charlotte Contact Lens Institute, our doctors are well-versed in RGP lenses and can make any needed adjustments to your existing RGP lenses, or assist in ordering a new version of your existing contact lens.

For patients that want the best vision and comfort possible, we do typically recommend scleral lenses. Scleral lenses offer the latest in optics, fit, and features. However, we understand that some patients are familiar with GP lenses. Regardless of the type of lens you prefer, we have the experience, technology, and compassion to offer the best custom contact lens experience in the Southeastern United States.

RGP lenses have several key disadvantages as compared to scleral lenses.  Most of Dr. Cerenzie’spatients whotransition from RGPs to scleral lenses are pleased with scleral lenses, and here is why:

  1. Comfort – Scleral lenses are generally considered more comfortable than RGP lenses. Scleral lenses vault over the entire cornea and rest on the sclera (the white part of the eye), avoiding direct contact with the sensitive corneal surface.
  2. Stability and Movement – Scleral lenses tend to have better stability on the eye compared to RGP lenses. The larger size of scleral lenses means they are less likely to dislodge or shift during blinking, providing more consistent vision.
  3. Dry Eye Management – Scleral lenses can help manage dry eye symptoms. The space between the lens and the cornea acts as a fluid reservoir, providing a continuous supply of moisture to the cornea.
  4. Less Sensitivity to Debris – Scleral lenses have a larger diameter, which can make them less likely to trap debris between the lens and the eye

For more information on scleral lenses, click here

Now we will focuson the advantages of RGP lenses as compared to scleral lenses, as shown below:

  • Cost – Scleral lenses are often around $500 more expensive than RGP lenses. The fitting process for scleral lenses can be more complex and may require more time and expertise from the eye care professional.
  • Fitting Process – The fitting process for scleral lenses is more involved and time-consuming compared to RGP lenses. Achieving the right fit may require multiple visits.
  • Insertion and Removal – Some individuals find it more difficult to insert and remove sclerallenses compared to RGP lenses.

In summary, ultimately the choice between scleral and GP contact lenses depends on the individual’s specific eye condition, lifestyle, and preferences.

Why Charlotte Contact Lens Institute for
GP Contact Lenses?

The Team

The team at Charlotte Contact Lens Institute are experts in fitting custom GP contact lenses.

Advanced Technology

Our office is one of a few practices in the country that is equipped with the Pentacam AXL Wave and Optovue Solix OCT, which aid in the design and (potential) adjustment of GP lenses.

Unlimited Answers

We allow for enough time for thorough comprehensive exams, and plenty of time for answering questions. No rushing in and out here.

Specializing in Custom GP Contact Lenses

We do not offer traditional eye exams for “normal” eyes, and instead, a large percentage of our patients come to looking for advanced and customized contacts, including customized corneal GP / RGP contact lenses.

Access to the Doctor

Our doctors are available to answer questions you have after your exam, and will make sure you have the information needed in order to ensure the best possible outcome.


We keep our overhead costs low and offer very competitive prices as a result. We have monthly payment options available and also accept CareCredit™, HSA, & FSA.



Our doctors are nationally recognized for their expertise in the most current research and effective methods of fitting specialty contact lenses, including GP contact lenses. Our doctors regularly present at both local and national meetings and conferences, where they share their knowledge and insights on specialty contact lenses, including GPs.

Additionally, Dr. Cerenzie has been honored with the distinction of Fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society (FSLS), which is bestowed on advanced level practitioners within the specialty lens industry.  In fact, currently there are only approximately 300 members worldwide of this elite group of specialty contact lens doctors.

During an initial comprehensive exam, our doctors will discuss all treatment options, including GP contacts. One of the benefits of visiting Charlotte Contact Lens Institute is the amount of one-on-one time with the doctor, which allows for plenty of time to ask questions and evaluate all options.

Scleral Lens Gallery