Alan B. Richards, M.D.
Pediatric Ophthalmologist with specialization in Adult Eye Muscle Disorders
Alan B. Richards, MD, a pediatric ophthalmologist in Shreveport, Louisiana, has utilized his professional expertise to save children’s vision at home and abroad. As a pediatric ophthalmologist at Highland Clinic, Alan B. Richards, MD, treats a wide variety of eye problems in his young patients, including diagnosis and treatment of genetic disorders, complex strabismus (lazy eye), and ocular and orbital tumors. He performs eye muscle surgery on adults as well.
As evidence of his professional dedication, Alan B. Richards, MD, developed vision screening guidelines for children in Louisiana early in his practice and personally instructed school nurses and vision screeners across the state on proper screening methods. Teaching has always been at the core of Dr. Richards’ professional enterprises, and he enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. In addition to his responsibilities at Highland Clinic, he serves as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
Alan B. Richards, MD, hasn’t limited his care to children in Louisiana. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for Shreveport Sees Russia, an organization dedicated to saving the eyesight of infants in Russia and Eastern Europe. Dr. Richards has traveled to Moscow twice to provide diagnosis and training to pediatric ophthalmologists. He plans to return to Moscow in 2012 for another large conference. He is also going to Ukraine in May 2012, to deliver equipment, meet with pediatric ophthalmologists, and speak at a large conference in Odessa. In addition to his work at Shreveport Sees Russia, Alan B. Richards, MD, serves as a chairman on Louisiana’s Vision Advisory Board.
Dr. Richards completed his Bachelor’s degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. His postgraduate studies included a residency at the Callahan Eye Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, and a fellowship at the Will Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
International Blindness Association Hosts 2016 World Sight Day
Alan B. Richards, MD, served for more than 30 years as clinical assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He developed a series of lectures on pediatric ophthalmology for residents that have been used in ophthalmology training programs throughout the USA. In addition, Alan B. Richards, MD, works as a pediatric ophthalmologist at Highland Clinic and belongs to the International Association for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
Established in 1975, IAPB leads international efforts to prevent blindness. It seeks to give everyone access to the best standard of care for eye health. It also promotes awareness about eye health, particularly at the county levels.
To promote its mission, IAPB coordinates an annual event on the second Thursday in October. Occurring this year on October 13, World Sight Day focuses global attention on blindness and visual impairment. During this event, members of IAPB work together to raise public awareness about blindness and vision impairments and how they are a major international public health issue.
Members also encourage government officials to designate funds for national blindness prevention programs. In addition, IAPB encourages amateur and professional photographers to take part in an international photography competition highlighting World Sight Day with the theme of Stronger Together.
Pediatric Lazy Eye - Causes and Treatments
For more than 35 years, Alan B. Richards, MD, has cared for patients as a privately practicing pediatric ophthalmologist in Shreveport, Louisiana. Alan B. Richards, MD, is particularly interested in strabismus and its presentation in children.
Strabismus, a condition that affects 4 percent of individuals nationwide, occurs when the eye fails to align correctly. This is most often the result of a malfunction in cranial nerves III, IV, and V, which together control movement of the eye, though some cases have a primarily muscular cause. The effect of strabismus is visible as an eye that turns inward (esotropia), rotates outward (exotropia), drifts upward (hypertropia), or sinks lower (hypotropia).
Physicians often begin the treatment of strabismus with an eye patch or glasses darkened on one side that the child wears over the unaffected eye. This forces vision in the affected eye to become stronger and can condition the related muscles, which in turn correct the alignment. For children who cannot tolerate a patch, the same effect may be achieved using atropine drops, as these blur vision in the unaffected eye.
Some children do not respond appropriately to patching, drops, or glasses. For these children, surgery can help to tighten or relax the muscles that cause the misalignment. This routine procedure is typically available as an outpatient therapy.