September 2023

Progressive OptometryProgressive Optometry (2325 Ashland Street in the Tolman Creek Shopping Center) recently celebrated 26 years in business, providing eye exams, personalized service, “extraordinary frames,” and treatment of visually related learning challenges.

Eric Dukes, O.D., found his calling early. “When I was in college and trying to decide what medical field to go into, I had the fortunate opportunity to work with my stepdad doing sport vision training with the 1984 Olympic volleyball team,” Eric said. “Learning about how the eyes worked and how much of a profound impact vison has on people’s lives solidified my choice to become an Optometrist.”

His wife Melissa is the office manager, and the two met on a blind date 30 years ago.
“I knew the second I saw her that she was my soul mate,” Eric said. “We married eight months later and set out to create our lives together. I grew up in the beaches of southern California and she was from the Midwest. My family owned a cabin by Lake Wallowa when I was growing up, and I knew my heart was in Oregon. Melissa and I moved to Ashland in 1997. We fell in love with the area and the vibe. I am a snow and water skier, and she an avid tennis player, and our passions are within striking distance. We both enjoy being in nature and wanted to raise our son, Cannon, in a community-oriented town. Melissa was in the lending and banking industry, so it was a natural fit for her to take over the operational side of our business. She has an amazing eye for color and fashion and ensures our frames are fresh and unique. She also has a knack for helping people find the right frame for their face.”

Eric stressed that eye exams should be a part of everyone’s regimen of health maintenance. “Many undetected health issues, including diabetes, brain tumors, high blood pressure/cholesterol and even early onset Alzheimer’s can be discovered during an eye exam,” he said. “I am board certified in the treatment of visually related learning disorders in children such as dyslexia and tracking issues, and post-traumatic brain injury including post-concussion syndrome and stroke rehabilitation.”

Quality customer service is the focus at Progressive Optometry. “Our long-term employees (Opticians Veronica Newman and Chris Shillito) are ABO board certified with 50 years experience between them and can usually answer most questions. Sheryl Cochrane is a vision therapist with nine years experience and a teaching background. She runs the therapy department, where we help children and adults overcome visual issues.”

The office carries a wide array of fashion frames and sunglasses at reasonable prices, and they offer the most current lens selection available as well as an in-house lab. Contact lens fitting and training for new wearers are part of their services.

“Having our own in-house lab and many lenses on hand, we can sometimes offer on-the-spot glasses and contacts,” Eric said. “Our office welcomes outside prescriptions. We opened the business with a win-win mentality and felt that if we provided quality exams and old-fashioned customer service, we could thrive in Ashland. And 26 years later, here we are.”
For more info, the phone number is 541-552-0677. You can also see them at and on Facebook.