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General Eye Doctor or Contact Lens Specialist?—Specialty Contacts in Kitchener & Waterloo, Southern Ontario

"Hard-To-Fit" Contact Lenses

In the realm of healthcare, there are many conditions that are treated by a specialist, rather than a general practitioner. Eye doctors are no exception. When it comes to certain ocular conditions and complications, the most effective care is delivered by a specialist. While a general practitioner will usually be familiar with the condition, it's still going to be the specialist who has much greater experience and focused training and can, therefore, provide treatments and solutions that stand at the cutting edge of medicine and technology.

Hard-To-Fit Contact Lenses Patients

Individuals, such as people with corneal irregularities or sensitivities, require a custom or specialty contact lens. These “hard-to-fit” contact lens patients, for instance, are not candidates for wearing standard contact lenses and struggle with standard prescription eyeglasses. Fitting these advanced contact lenses requires a contact lens specialist, with the latest corneal imaging and topographic technology. At , our eye doctors are experts at fitting specialized and custom contact lenses in Kitchener & Waterloo. 

Are Your Eyes Hard-to-Fit With Contacts?

Do you find wearing contact lenses impossible, or been told that it's impossible? Are regular contacts painful or constantly uncomfortable? You aren't alone. There are many people who fall under that category of "hard-to-fit", whether due to corneal conditions, such as keratoconus, or other problems such as sensitivity or chronic dry eye. All too often, people in this category are incorrectly told that they can’t wear contact lenses. The truth is that most patients can be successfully fitted with specialized contact lenses, which deliver impressive visual clarity and unparalleled comfort.

    Conditions And Complications That Can Make Regular Contacts Unbearable

    • Astigmatism
    • Dry eyes
    • Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
    • Keratoconus
    • Post-refractive surgery like LASIK
    • Corneal irregularity or corneal dystrophy
    • Post-Corneal Transplant

    Any of these problems will typically require advanced eye care beyond the scope of general care optometry.

    Elderly Woman, Wearing Scleral Lenses

    What Is A Contact Lens Specialist?

    A contact lens specialist is an eye doctor who has trained extensively in the techniques and technologies required to create and fit customized contact lenses. At , we provide hi-tech contact lens solutions to adults and children. will assess your contact lens needs and recommend a contact lens solution that provides the comfort, stability, and clarity you need after a quick and comfortable fitting.

    Close up of woman's eye, ad for contact lens specialist

    When Should I See
    A Contact Lens Specialist?

    If you have any corneal irregularity or visual disorder that prevents the use of regular contact lenses, or for effective non-surgical correction for myopia, schedule a consultation with Dr. Robin Apfelbeck. The first step of any treatment is the assessment, which requires specialized diagnostic and digital imaging tools, including the ability to conduct corneal topography and to produce high-resolution corneal imagery. Getting a very detailed mapping of the contours of your eyes will allow us to create a custom-fit contact lens solution for you. The most common specialty contact lens used are Scleral lenses. Ortho-K lenses are typically worn by children for myopia control or adults who want a non-surgical alternative to LASIK.

    Scleral Lenses

    Scleral Lenses—sometimes referred to as ocular surface prostheses—are large-diameter gas-permeable contact lenses that rest on the sclera and create a tear-filled vault over the cornea. The lenses, therefore, sit over an irregular cornea and not on it. Sclerals provides a perfectly smooth optical surface to correct refractive errors with tremendous accuracy while retaining maximum comfort. Scleral lenses are also fixed in place to avoid discomfort and remain in place. These specialized Scleral Contact Lenses are often the ideal solution for patients suffering from:

    • keratoconus
    • chronic dry eyes
    • SjÖgren’s syndrome
    • sensitive eyes
    • corneal ectasia
    • Steven-Johnson syndrome
    • neurotrophic keratitis
    • aniridia
    • microphthalmia
    • higher aberration of the eye
    • pellucid degeneration
    • complications from eye surgery
    • sensitive eyes
    Ortho-K Lenses

    Your contact lens specialist may also recommend the use of Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) lenses for your vision. These are rigid gas permeable contact lenses that you wear overnight. They gently reshape the cornea so that you can enjoy corrected, accurate vision during the day.  Orthokeratology is a safe, effective, and non-surgical alternative to  LASIK or similar surgical procedures. The use of Ortho-k has also been demonstrated to effectively manage the progression of myopia in children.

    The corneal reshaping lenses quality of orthokeratology can be used to correct refractive problems such as near-sightedness, astigmatism, and hyperopia. In some cases, it can also be used to correct for presbyopia as well.

    Meet Our Contact Lens Specialist



    We are thrilled to welcome Monica to our team. Monica is making a fresh start and entering the world of Optometry at our office. She has extensive customer service experience and loves dealing with people, always striving to make them smile. Monica has a flare for fashion and make up application, and is always willing to give her opinion on patients glasses purchases. Monica has a love of animals and enjoys the antics of her cat, Lola.

    Cheryl S., CCOA

        Cheryl, our office manager has been in the optometric field for over 5 years, and is a Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant. She completely enjoys helping people pick the perfect frame, and always promises to give an honest opinion when patients are trying to decide which frame suits them...

    Marina G., CCOA

    Marina was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. There she completed her Bachelor Degree in International Communications, and is fluent in Russian, German and English. After moving to Canada she changed her career path and is enjoying working in the Optometric field. She is currently working at obtaining her designation...

    Kerry C., CCOA

    Kerry has been working at Grand River Eye Care for over 4 years and is a Canadian Certified Optometric Assistant. She is usually behind the scenes, working in the lab ensuring all the orders are perfect! She loves knowing that she is helping our patients see and look their best....

    Gillian B., CCOA

    Gillian has been in the optical industry for 8 years and the eye care industry for 2 years. She enjoys educating patients on how important it is to keep their eye sight a top priority. Gillian works in both of our Kitchener and Waterloo locations and loves interacting with patients,...

    Dr. Robin Apfelbeck

    Dr. Apfelbeck graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, in 1999 with her Doctor of Optometry degree and Bachelor of Science. She purchased the Waterloo practice in the summer of 1999. Dr. Apfelbeck completed an externship at the Omni Eye Center in Atlanta Georgia, in 1998, where she...
    Serving Patients From

    Kitchener & Waterloo | Guelph | Cambridge | Bloomingdale | and the state of Southern Ontario

    If You’re Looking For A Contact Lens Specialist Near Kitchener & Waterloo, Southern Ontario, Of Is The Destination.

    Don’t let discomfort or a corneal condition prevent you from having clear, comfortable vision. Contact us to asses and fit you with the contact lens solution you need.

    Serving Patients From:

    Kitchener & Waterloo | Guelph | Cambridge | Bloomingdale | and the state of Southern Ontario