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General Eye Doctor or Eye Doctor Trained in Fitting Contact Lenses? —Specialty Contacts in Troy, Illinois

"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 Troy. 

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 Unger Eye Care, we provide hi-tech contact lens solutions to adults and children alike. Dr. Alice Unger and Dr. Thomas Unger will assess your contact lens needs and recommend a contact lens solution that provides the comfort, stability, and clarity you need.

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    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. Alice Unger and Dr. Thomas Unger. 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

    our doctors

    Meet Our Eye Doctors


    Valerie K


    Allison Kerr


    Lynn Mueller

    Lynn has recently joined Unger Eye Care as an optican. With a background in nursing she has always enjoyed caring for others and focusing on the positives. Lynn has joined Unger Eye Care to share her colorful personality while helping patients get the perfect eyewear for them, thus allowing them...

    Ray Mueller

    Ray's background in customer service made him an excellent fit for Unger Eye Care. Working in a small business is a big change from his previous employeer, and he has enjoyed being able to work closely with the owners and staff, as well as being able to interact with patients...

    Taylor Unger

    When visiting Unger Eye Care you can find Taylor in the exam room with the doctors. Her background in clinical psychology allows her to take excellent documentation of your visit. In her spare time Taylor spends time with her husband and family, as well as biking and ice skating....

    Nicole Watson

    Optician/Technician, Scribe
    Nicole joins Unger Eye Care with an optical background. She is eager to learn scribing and is excited about being able to work closely with the doctors. When not at work Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband and 3 cats....

    Julie Chellios

    Billing Specialist
    Julie brings years of billing experience in accounts receivables and payables to Unger Eye Care. She spent many years managing the books for a hardware store with her husband. She fits right in with the family business at Unger Eye Care....

    Shannon Willtrout

    Shannon joined Unger Eye Care in March. Her customer service and care for patients is a reflection of her years spent as a flight attendant....
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    Sherri Flannery

    Office Manager
    Sherri enjoys working with staff and patients. She wants all patients to experience the care and passion that Unger Eye Care has to offer.   Joining us as a leader who has spent twenty-two years within pharmacy management, she is excited about the opportunity to be closer to the decision...
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    Beth Ross

    Insurance & Billing Specialist
    Beth worked with Unger Eye Care a few years back as a Front Desk Coordinator. She has returned to Unger Eye Care and will be working in Insurance and Billing. She is eager to learn the “nuts and bolts” of insurance companies, submitting claims, and accounts payable.   While away...
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    Grant Unger

    Grant adds to the creative talent at Unger Eye Care. He has been instrumental in the recent rebranding of Unger Eye Care. You will see his creative talent in the new building sign and monument sign. He is also translating this rebranding in our marketing and communications.   Grant recently...
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    Tina Parrott

    Vision Therapist
    Tina has been invaluable to our vision therapy program for nearly fifteen years. Her prior seventeen years in the medical field and her past years as a competitive athlete and coach has prepared her well as a vision therapist. What motivates her is the relationship she develops with the patient...
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    Caitlin Unger

    Besides being an invaluable doctor scribe and assistant, Caitlin is a natural problem solver, enjoying projects to make operations in our office more efficient.   She has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She also has substantial experience in merchandising and retail sales.   Outside...
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    Kimmy Schoerner

    Kimmy has worked at Unger Eye Care for nearly twelve years and enjoys the relationships she builds with patients. She likes helping patients as well as mastering new technology inside the practice.   After twenty years of service, Kimmy retired from the Army where she specialized in military intelligence.  ...
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    Terri Slaby

    Vision Therapist
    Terri delights in working with patients and educating them on the benefits of vision therapy. She helped establish the vision therapy program twenty-three years ago. Enjoying the interactions of both patients and co-workers she is always eager to assist whenever needed at the practice.   She has a bachelor’s degree...
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    Jennifer Barth

    Jennifer has been working as an Optician for nearly fifteen years and has worked in both private practice and retail environments. Her experience is invaluable in complicated eye wear prescriptions as well assisting in the fitting of contacts lenses. She enjoys the reaction of a patient who is seeing clearly...
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    Dr. Drew T. Unger O.D.

    Drew dedicated his undergraduate studies to Biology and Pre-Optometry at University of Missouri-St. Louis. He received his Doctorate of Optometry degree and Pierre Laclede Honors College degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in the Spring of 2018. During his training he has completed specialty contact lens fitting including gas...
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    Dr. Thomas K. Unger O.D.

    As an independent, private practitioner, Dr. Tom follows his passion to find the best solution for his patients’ vision challenges using the latest technology, innovative eye care products, and talented staff. His special interest in vision therapy attracts patients from hours away. He experiences great satisfaction in being part of...
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    Dr. Alice E. Unger O.D.

    Dr. Alice has earned a reputation for friendly professional eye care. She practices full-scope optometry including primary eye care of all ages. She is happy to take the time to help her patients understand their vision and eye health conditions and their choices of treatment, including glasses, contact lenses, corrective surgery,...
    Serving Patients From

    Troy | Edwardsville | Maryville | Glen Carbon | and the state of Illinois

    If You’re Looking For A Eye Doctor Near Troy, Illinois, Dr. Alice Unger and Dr. Thomas Unger Of Unger Eye Care 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.

    Call Us

    Book Online

    Serving Patients From:

    Troy | Edwardsville | Maryville | Glen Carbon | and the state of Illinois