Progressive Optometry: A Visionary Approach to Vision

February 2020

Countryside Village Retirement“If your visual system isn’t working optimally, your ability to learn suffers,” says Eric Dukes, COVD, of Progressive Optometry in Ashland (2325 Ashland Street). “Attention equals vision; that’s how we interpret and make sense of the world.”

Dr. Dukes, with a doctorate in optometry and a fellowship in visual development, has helped hundreds of children and adults overcome visually-related learning disorders.

He and his wife, Melissa, opened Progressive Optometry in 1997, and have built the practice into one of the region’s top optometry services. Of course, they offer expert routine eye care exams and services, with a team of board-certified opticians who give knowledgeable guidance in choosing quality eyewear and contact lenses. But Dr. Dukes also offers a unique specialized approach for children and adults experiencing learning or reading difficulties.

“I was drawn to this field when I realized that in addition to providing comprehensive family eye care, I could help people overcome vision-related learning disorders,” says Dr. Dukes. “I have branched out into treating the visual aspects of sensory integration, concussions and traumatic brain injury. Seeing a child thrive in school, or a person regain a normal life following a trauma, keeps my intellectual fires going.”

Dr. Dukes’ specialty of Developmental Vision Therapy is based on the simple idea that any activity done inefficiently causes stress to the rest of the human system. Poor visual skills tax the rest of the body, lowering reading comprehension and retention and causing fatigue, poor attention and lack of interest. Vision therapy helps an individual learn to use his eyes in a coordinated, efficient way, so more visual information can be understood and retained, reducing stress on the rest of the body.

The Dukes have created a practice that pairs small-town friendliness and personal attention with the latest science and discovery about visual systems. It’s an approach that reflects much of what they love about Ashland, having spent more than 20 of their 26 years of marriage here. They continue to thrive on what Melissa describes as the natural beauty of the place and its progressive, “positive vibe.”

“I see it as a combination of the best things from each place we’ve lived,” Melissa said. “It’s a special little gem of a town.”

Check out their website,, or call 541-552-0677 to book an appointment for your next exam, and find out why Progressive Optometry has been voted “best optometrist” four years in a row. You can also like them on Facebook.