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Specialty Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are medical devices worn directly on the surface of the eye. Like eyeglasses, contact lenses help to correct refractive errors by adding or subtracting focusing power to the eye’s cornea and lens. Contacts provide a safe and effective way to correct vision when used with care and proper supervision. They can be a good alternative to eyeglasses, depending on your eyes and your lifestyle. For certain conditions, contact lenses may be considered medically necessary.

At Minnesota Eye Consultants, we are honored to have several Doctors of Optometry on our team offer Specialty Contact Lens services to patients. The providers that offer contact lens prescriptions at Minnesota Eye Consultants are those on our Optometry Team. If you’re interested in contact lenses, please notify our appointment team when scheduling your annual exam. They will be sure to schedule you with the correct provider, as our surgeons and general ophthalmologists do not fit contact lenses. If you’re scheduling a Contact Lens appointment only (not a full eye exam), then you must have had an eye exam within the last 6 months.

Specialty Contact Lens Overview

Obtaining the right contact lens fit can be a serious challenge for some individuals. Before getting discouraged and giving up on contacts altogether, you may want to visit with a Contact Lens Specialist. These providers are experts in their field and have access to advanced technology that can offer more insight into your particular situation.

There are a variety of reasons why your eyes may be considered “hard to fit” for contacts, but a few of the common conditions that tend to make wearing contacts more challenging are listed below:

  • Keratoconus
  • Astigmatism
  • Dry Eyes
  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • Presbyopia
  • Having had LASIK or other Refractive Surgery

If you’ve historically had a difficult time with contacts, visit one of our Contact Lens Specialists to see what options are available to you. They will do everything in their power to provide you with the best contact lens fit possible.

Specialty Contact Lens Fit Appointment

In order to schedule a Contact Lens Fitting appointment, you must have had an eye exam within the last 6 months. These fitting appointments typically take up to two hours and sometimes are able to be completed at the same time as your comprehensive eye exam. Depending on the complexity of the appointment, however, it is possible this will need to occur on a separate visit.

During your fitting appointment, a Corneal Topography test will be completed, which maps out the unique characteristics of your cornea (the “hills and valleys” of your eye). This will help ensure an ideal and healthy fit when wearing contact lenses.


There is a fee associated with your Specialty Contact Lens Fitting appointment and it ranges in price depending on several factors. Your doctor will discuss this non-refundable fee with you on the day of your appointment. Included within the fitting fee is an Insertion & Removal (I&R) appointment (if applicable) and 90 days of follow up visits. Contact Lens Fittings will likely involve a number of follow up appointments so your doctor can confirm your lenses are fitting properly. It is important to follow up as recommended by your Doctor of Optometry.

Insertion & Removal (I&R) Appointment

An Insertion and Removal (I&R) visit is typically needed for patients who are new to wearing contact lenses, and for those individuals obtaining a new type of lens. Depending on schedules and whether or not we have the contact lens you need in the office, your I&R appointment may be scheduled right after your Contact Lens Fitting, or we may request that you return on a different day.

I&R appointments are essentially a one-on-one “class” done with a Technician. These visits can take up to an hour and the goal is that you’ll learn the proper technique to insert, remove and care for your type of contact lens. Additional I&R appointments may be required if there’s a need for additional training, or if you move to another type of contact lens.

As a reminder, the cost of this appointment is included in the original Contact Lens Fitting Fee.

How to Order Contact Lenses

Contact lens prescriptions are typically valid for two years, however, certain medical conditions may warrant a prescription to only be valid for one year. This is up to your doctor’s discretion, but a valid contact lens prescription is required before ordering contact lenses.

Specialty Contact Lenses must be ordered through a Contact Lens Representative by calling (952) 567-6076.

Insurance & Payment Information

Payment is required in full prior to ordering lenses, even if we are submitting a claim to insurance. Regardless of whether or not the lenses are deemed “Medically Necessary” by your doctor, there’s still a good chance insurance will deny the claim and you’ll be responsible for payment. For questions on a denied claim, please contact your insurance carrier.

How long does it typically take for the contacts to arrive?

Depending on what kind of Specialty Contact Lens you need, this timeframe does vary.

Soft Contact Lenses typically arrive in 3-5 business days if ordered through a Contact Lens Representative. If you purchase Soft Disposable Contact Lenses through the Online Store, then your contacts will be shipped directly to your home, usually within 5-7 business days.

Made-to-order Contact Lenses (Complex Lenses and Soft Custom Lenses) may take 2-4 weeks depending on the lab and the complexity of the lenses.

Hard Contacts and some Specialty Soft Contact Lenses can’t be ordered through the Online Store. You can purchase these directly through a Minnesota Eye Consultants Contact Lens Representative. Simply call (952) 567-6076 to place your order.

Contact Lens Accessories, such as contact inserters, Contact Lens Solutions, etc. can be purchased on our Online Store.

Dispense Appointment

There may be times when a Dispense Appointment is necessary, meaning your doctor will request you come into the office to pick up your Contact Lenses. This may happen, for instance, if there’s a large shift in your prescription or if there’s a need to check the fit of the contact lens prior to you bringing it home. Your Contact Lens Specialist will inform you if this appointment is necessary.

Tips on Caring for Your Specialty Contact Lenses

Please keep these important tips in mind when caring for your contact lenses:

  • Always wash and dry your hands before handling contact lenses to reduce the chance of getting an infection.
  • Do not use contact lens solutions that have gone beyond the expiration or discard date.
  • Only use sterile saline solutions for rinsing. DO NOT use them for cleaning and disinfection your lenses.
  • Do not put your lenses in your mouth to wet them. Saliva is not a sterile solution.
  • Rub (15 seconds) and rinse your contact lenses before storing them overnight.
  • Do not “top off” the solutions in your case. Always discard all of the leftover contact lens solutions after each use. Never reuse any lens solution.
  • Do not expose your lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake, pool or ocean water. Never use non-sterile water (distilled water, tap water or any homemade solutions). Exposure of contact lenses to water has been associated with Acanthamoeba Keratitis (a rare disease in which amoebae invade the cornea of the eye). It may result in permanent visual impairment or blindness.
  • Clean, rinse and air-dry your lens case each time lenses are removed. Contact lens cases can be a source of bacterial growth and it is recommended you replace your case every 3 months.
  • Replace your contact lenses regularly. Do not “stretch” the replacement intervals.
  • Remove lenses immediately and consult your eye care practitioner if your eyes become red, irritated or your vision changes.
  • Insert your lenses before applying makeup or putting on lotion.
  • Never wear a lens that is ripped, torn or broken.
  • Always have a current back-up pair of glasses.
VIDEOS: Inserting & Removing Your Specialty Contacts

Preparing to Insert Your Contacts

Application Preparation

View Video

Soft Contact Lens Care, Insertion & Removal

Soft Contact Lens Application

View Video

Soft Contact Lens Removal

View Video

RGP Contact Lens Care, Insertion & Removal

RGP Contact Lens Application

View Video

RGP Contact Lens Removal

View Video

Scleral Contact Lens Care, Insertion & Removal

Scleral Contact Lens Insertion & Removal

View Video

Hybrid Contact Lenses

Hybrid Contact Lens Care

Hybrid Contact lens Insertion

Hybrid Contact Lens Removal


If you have questions about Specialty Contact Lenses, please contact our Contact Lens Specialists at (952) 567-6076.

Alyson L. Blakstad, O.D.

Alyson L. Blakstad, O.D.

Specializes in: Primary Eye Care & Specialty Contact Lenses
Practices at: Minnetonka

Noumia Cloutier-Gill, O.D., FAAO

Noumia Cloutier-Gill, O.D., FAAO

Specializes in: Primary Eye Care & Specialty Contact Lenses
Practices at: Woodbury

Tara R. Barth, O.D.

Tara R. Barth, O.D.

Specializes in: Primary Eye Care & Specialty Contact Lenses
Practices at: Bloomington

Mark R. Buboltz, O.D., FAAO

Mark R. Buboltz, O.D., FAAO

Specializes in: Dry Eye, Primary Eye Care & Specialty Contact Lenses
Practices at: Bloomington,  Woodbury

Gina M. Doeden, O.D.

Gina M. Doeden, O.D.

Specializes in: Primary Eye Care & Specialty Contact Lenses
Practices at: Bloomington, Minnetonka

Cristelle Boots, O.D.

Cristelle E. Boots, O.D.

Specializes in: Primary Eye Care & Dry Eye
Practices at: Blaine, Woodbury

Sonja Iverson-Hill, O.D.

Sonja Iverson-Hill, O.D.

Specializes in: Primary Eye Care & Specialty Contact Lenses
Practices at: Blaine, Minnetonka