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Vision Therapy Centre

Book a Scleral Lens Appointment! (226) 894-4003
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General Eye Doctor or Eye Doctor Trained in Fitting Contact Lenses? —Specialty Contacts in Kitchener & Waterloo region, Ontario

"Hard-To-Fit" Contact Lens Patients

In the world of healthcare, there are many conditions that are treated by a specialized doctor 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 an eye doctor trained in a particular area of eye health. While a general practitioner is typically familiar with the condition, it's still going to be the eye doctor with special training and greater experience who will provide the most effective treatments and solutions.

Hard-To-Fit Contact Lens Patients

Certain individuals with corneal irregularities or other ocular aberrations require custom-made specialty contact lenses. These patients are called “hard-to-fit”, as they cannot wear standard contact lenses and struggle with standard prescription eyeglasses. Fitting specialty contact lenses needs to be done by a contact lens specialist, who will use the latest corneal imaging and topographic technology to customize the lenses to your unique dimensions. At , our eye doctors are experts in fitting specialized and custom contact lenses in Kitchener & Waterloo region. 

Do You Struggle With Contact Lenses?

Do you find wearing traditional contact lenses painful or uncomfortable? You aren't alone. There are many people who fall under the "hard-to-fit" category, whether due to corneal conditions, such as keratoconus or other problems such as sensitivity or chronic dry eye. People in this category are incorrectly told that they can’t wear contact lenses at all. The truth is that most patients can be successfully fitted with scleral contact lenses, which deliver impressive visual clarity and unparalleled comfort.

    Scleral Lenses Can Be Worn By People With These Conditions

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

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

    Elderly Woman, Wearing Scleral Lenses

    What is an Eye Doctor Trained in Fitting Contact Lenses?

    The eye doctor that fits patients with scleral lenses has extensive training in the techniques and technologies required to create and fit customized contact lenses. At Dolman Scleral Lens Centre, we provide hi-tech contact lens solutions to adults and children alike. Dr. Howard Dolman will assess your contact lens needs and recommend a contact lens solution that provides the comfort, stability, and clarity you need.

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

    When Should I See an Eye Doctor for Scleral Lenses?

    If you have any corneal irregularity or visual disorder that prevents you from wearing regular contact lenses, or if you're seeking to correct your myopia in a non-surgical way, schedule a consultation with Dr. Howard Dolman. The first step of any treatment is the assessment, which requires specialized diagnostic and digital imaging tools, such as a corneal topography which produces high-resolution corneal imagery. A detailed mapping of the contours of your eyes will allow us to create custom-fit contact lenses uniquely fitted to your eyes. The most common specialty contact lenses used are Scleral lenses. Ortho-K lenses are typically worn by children for myopia control or adults who seek a non-surgical alternative to LASIK.

    Scleral Lenses

    Scleral Lenses 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


    Dr. Annemarie Hannington

    Associate Optometrist
    Annemarie Hannington graduated with honours from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 2017. Prior to that, Annemarie received her honours degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Guelph. Annemarie is a member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists as well as the Canadian Association of Optometrists. Her...


    We are very happy to welcome Jenna to our team in December 2018. She is an Optician with an optimistic spirit, just like every other Leaf’s fan. She enjoys helping you find a fabulous pair of glasses and getting the lenses and coatings that best suit you. In her spare...


    Vision Therapist
    Reena joined our team in January 2018. Before becoming a Vision Therapist she was an Occupational/Physiotherapist Assistant. Reena is passionate about enhancing the lives of her patients which is why she is continuing her education to become an accredited Practical Vision Therapist through the Canadian Optometrists in Vision Therapy and...


    Vision Therapist
    Karen joined our team in November 2018 as a Vision Therapy Assistant and has since graduated to Vision Therapist. Keren previously worked as a nurse. Karen enjoys helping patients learn and practice new activities that allow their eyes and brain to communicate and work better together. Her hobbies include hiking...


    Lab Technician/ Optometric Assistant
    Hayden who is often in our lab cutting new prescription lenses into their frames loves the technical side of spectacles and enjoys explaining the newest technology to our patients. Hayden is also very creative; he enjoys woodworking, playing music, and crafting. Hayden also loves snowboarding and rescuing dogs. Hayden took...


    Shannon is the one who will greet you with a smile when you enter our office. Shannon joined our team in February 2018. She enjoys seeing all the lovely people who come to our office. Congratulations Shannon, on passing your CCOA final exam just after giving birth to your first...


    Optometric Assistant - CCOA
    Melissa joined our team in March 2017. When she isn’t working on making sure our patients look amazing in their new glasses she is a phenomenal baker and hitting home runs on the baseball field! Not only does Melissa help bring in exciting sunglasses, she is also the photographer/creative designer...

    Dr. Victoria Lomax

    Victoria Lomax graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 2017. Victoria completed one of her 4th year externship rotations at Dolman Eyecare and joined the team as an optometrist after graduation. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists as well as the Canadian Association...


    Optometric Assistant/ Office Administrator
    If you don’t know Connie from her 35 years of working here, you probably know her because you’re related to her (ha!). When it comes to our clinic there is nothing Connie can’t do; she even has her own hashtag #waytogoconstance. In her spare time Connie enjoys yelling “Fore!” on...


    Optometric Assistant
    Debbie has been helping our patients choose their perfect frame for almost 30 years! Debbie is our creative genius and when she isn’t making our optical look gorgeous she is crafting at home. Our patients look forward to her homemade wreath for our annual Optometry Giving Sight draw. Her favourite...


    Optometric Assistant
    Judy has been part of our team for 19 years less 1 year AWOL because of a temporary move to North Carolina. When Judy isn’t busy bringing in amazing sunglasses she spends her time crocheting and knitting for the Children’s Hospital. She also loves rescuing animals. (Especially dogs!) Judy loves...


    Lead Pre-test Technician
    Daryl will take many measurements of your eye health and vision before you start with your optometrist including the eye puff that everybody “loves”. After more than 11 years, the thing Daryl enjoys the most about her job is interacting with people and keeping busy. An interesting fact about Daryl...


    Optometric Assistant
    Cindy will be the one to coordinate your appointment and runs the (peripheral) visual field testing. She is our friendly Newfoundlander who gets the office laughing with her “newfie” word of the day. Cindy has been with us for more than 10 years. She helps out with every part of...


    Optometric Assistant
    Susan (a.k.a. Susie Q) is the one who will let you know when your specialist appointment is and what to expect. She has over 20 years of optical experience and was previously a nurse, Susan is an active member of the Schwaben club and our resident German lady, Guten Tag!...


    Optometric Assistant CCOA
    Laurel is the one who will call or email to remind you if you are due for your eye exam, and she is our Eye See Eye Learn coordinator. Laurel has been at Dolman Eyecare Centre since November 2012, helping patients and providing administrative support. In her spare, time Laurel...


    Optician, Optical Manager
    Nicole is the friendly face you see around the office helping our patients and keeping our fun-loving staff working together as a team. If Nicole is not with her hubs and two little boys she is at the gym lifting heavy things or doing yoga. When you see her in...


    Optometric Assistant - CCOA
    We are delighted to have Kelsey join our team in the summer of 2015.  You will meet Kelsey as you enter into our clinic for your appointment, or to pick up your new glasses or contact lenses.  She may also perform some of the testing at the start of your...

    Dr. Debbie Cipp

    Dr. Debbie Cipp graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, in 1984, and immediately joined the practice in New Hamburg. Debbie was born in Kitchener, the second daughter and second child of seven children to Russel and Helen Cipp, of Waterloo. She has lived most of her life...

    Dr. Jim Bender

      Dr. Jim Bender graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, in 1981. He joined the New Hamburg practice in 1992.  Jim has served for many years as a clinical instructor at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, and as Director of Off-Campus Geriatric Eye Clinics.  He...

    Dr. Don Nickel

    Dr. Don Nickel graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Doctor of Optometry in 1993 and has been practicing at Dolman Eye Care since 1999. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Ontario Association of Optometrists. Don is also an Affiliate Doctor for the...

    Dr. Richard Bean

    Dr. Richard Bean graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry in 2008.  He was awarded the Beta Sigma Kappa Silver Medal.   Upon graduation, Richard immediately joined the Dolman Eyecare Clinic as an associate optometrist.  He is a member of the Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Ontario Association...

    Dr. Howard Dolman

    Howard graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, in 1990 and was honoured with the Award of Merit from the Canadian Association of Optometrists.  Howard is originally from Toronto, and has been practising in New Hamburg since 1991. Howard and Kim Dolman purchased the clinic in 1994 from...

    Dr. Kimberly Dolman

    Kim graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry, in 1992. She immediately joined the New Hamburg practice as an associate, and purchased the clinic in 1994, just days after the birth of her first child. Kim is a member of the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Ontario...
    Serving Patients From

    Kitchener & Waterloo region | Cambridge | Guelph | Stratford | and the state of Ontario

    If You’re Looking For A Eye Doctor Near Kitchener & Waterloo region, Ontario, Dr. Howard Dolman Of Dolman Scleral Lens Centre 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 region | Cambridge | Guelph | Stratford | and the state of Ontario