Past articles written by Dr. Ayres from 'Ask a Health Professional' in the Bend Bulletin.

Contact Lens and Presby
Jun 06, 2009
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
There are a few options that allow presbyopic contact lens wearers to see both far and near without the need to use reading glasses.  Presbyopia is the condition that causes a loss of near focusing; it typically begins to manifest in the early 40’s and progresses through the 50’s.  The standard contact lens fit corrects both eyes to see clearly into the distance.  This requires presbyopic patients to use magnifier, or ‘cheater,’ glasses in order to read up close...

What to do about Dry Eye
Apr 06, 2009
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
Dry eye is a very common condition – particularly here in arid Central Oregon.  The eye’s tear film is more complex than one might imagine.  Aside from the obvious lubrication, it also provides immune support protecting the surface of the eyes from infection and even accounts for up to 10% of the eyes’ optical clarity.  A person that doesn’t have sufficient tear volume will often complain of dry, sandy, gritty, burning, and/or watery eyes...

The Facts about Color Blindness
Jan 06, 2009
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
There are a lot of people walking around thinking that they are color blind, when in fact true color blindness is very rare condition. The human retina contains two categories of light sensitive cells: the rods and cones.  Rods give us our night vision and are present mainly in the peripheral retina (this is why it’s often easier to visualize a faint star by not looking directly at it).  Cones give us our daytime, high resolution, color vision...

About Glaucoma
Nov 06, 2008
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
 Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that if left untreated can result in blindness.  Its detection is often insidious and usually involves close observation over a period of months or years looking for changes in appearance and/or function to truly confirm the diagnosis.  The eyeball is a fluid-filled organ; there is fluid flowing into the eye and out of the eye at an equilibrium...

Migraine headaches
Oct 09, 2008
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
Q: I suffer from migraine headaches and occasionally experience vision changes with my headaches.  Is this something to be concerned about? A: Many migraine patients experience a visual aura that often precedes the headache symptoms.  This aura can manifest in a variety of visual changes, including overall blurred vision, spots of blurred vision, areas of missing vision, colored spots, and moving peripheral colors like a marquee.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration or ARMD
Sep 28, 2008
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
Macular Degeneration, often called Age-Related Macular Degeneration or ARMD, is a growing cause of vision loss.  It is estimated that 1.75 million people in the U.S. have lost vision related to ARMD, and that figure is expected to grow to nearly 3 million by 2020.  There are two categories of ARMD – the dry form and the wet form; the dry form precedes the wet form, which occurs in about 10% of ARMD patients....

Coffee and Glaucoma
Jun 06, 2008
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
For some time it was felt that drinking coffee could raise the pressure inside the eye and aggravate glaucoma. Recently a study was done that specifically looked at that question, and the answer was, “yes and no.” The study found that drinking coffee does indeed raise the pressure inside the eye, but only for patients with glaucoma. If you do not have glaucoma, drinking coffee has little effect on your intraocular pressure...

What are options are there other than laser surgery?
Apr 06, 2008
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
While refractive laser surgery (i.e. LASIK) is a relatively safe procedure for certain patients, many people are hesitant to commit to a surgery that permanently changes the anatomical structure of their eyes.  Fortunately, there is a procedure available that is completely reversible at a fraction of the cost of LASIK.

Ocular allergies
Mar 24, 2008
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC
Q: My eyes are feeling red and itchy.  Do I have allergies?A: Ocular allergies are very common this time of year in Central Oregon.  Juniper tree pollen peaks for about 6 weeks between late-March and mid-May and can cause red, itchy, swollen eyes.  Unfortunately, so can other eye conditions.  It is best to be seen by an eye care professional to rule out an infection or other serious condition before starting treatment, which may include oral anti-histamine medication and topical drops that block the inflammatory pathway to provide 24 hour protection against symptoms.

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