Abbotsford, B.C.—If you were to go to AboutMyEyes.com, you would be greeted by Harbir Sian, OD, of Highstreet Eyecare Center and his alter ego, Dr. Eyenstein on the homepage. The dynamic duo have been partners in educating patients about their eyesight, with Dr. Sian starting the blog in 2010 and Dr. Eyenstein aka Bill Eye the Vision Guy, joining him for the For Your Eyes Only video blog series in 2013.
About My Eyes, started as a weekly newsletter sent to a small group of friends that had questions about their eyes. “I think once people in the medical field graduate, family and friends start asking questions about whatever field they’re in,” Dr. Sian told VMWeekend. “I would constantly get questions like ‘Am I nearsighted or farsighted?’ or ‘What kind of prescription do I have?’”
In an effort to address those topics, Dr. Sian would send the newsletter to a group of approximately 20 people, answering the most common questions. He then found out that his small group of friends was forwarding the newsletter to their friends, family and colleagues and decided to start the blog in order to reach a wider audience. “The email list grew to 50-60 people and I thought, ‘Why not just write a blog?’”
About My Eyes features posts such as “The Average Person,” which addresses why the average person—the person who “just needs glasses”—should get a comprehensive eye exam; “How World War 2 Changed the Way We Talk About Our Eyes,” which gives some background on the development of the first intraocular implant which is now used in modern day cataract surgery; and “An Ophthalmologist, An Optometrist and An Optician walk Into A Bar,” which showcases his sense of humor at the top of the post.
After he created About My Eyes, Dr. Sian also created For Your Eyes Only, as an “edu-tainment” channel on YouTube where “you can learn and have fun too,” featuring his alter ego, Dr. Eyenstein. Described on the blog as “the strong, silent type,” Dr. Eyenstein was created for comic relief. “I enjoy writing, but I also enjoy acting, film and editing which is something I learned years back by chance,” Dr. Sian explained. “The videos got a really different response. Some people don’t even realize that it’s me in a pair of glasses and an outfit change.”
Since opening a second practice and recently welcoming a new baby girl, things have slowed down for Dr. Sian, but they definitely haven’t shut down. In-between practicing and spending time with his family, he still finds time to shoot Chiasma, a new video project for About My Eyes. Chiasma combines the OD’s passion for eyecare and love for philosophy. “Chiasma was something that had been brewing for a longtime. I’m passionate about eyecare and I also like to read philosophical and inspirational texts so I was trying to educate and inspire at the same time.”
The Chiasma videos take a completely different tone from For Your Eyes Only. They offer anecdotes and statistics, intertwined with quotes from the likes of Albert Einstein and Frederick Douglass. Check out “Children” below.