Physicians' Hearing Aid Center | Hearing Center Interview
Holly Blocker Arentz, Au. D. was studying to be an attorney when a speech science class her freshman year of college threw her a curve ball.
“As soon as I took second semester hearing science, I knew audiology was the path I wanted to take. I realized this was something positive I could do to impact people’s lives,” she said.
In fact, Dr. Arentz said knowing that she makes a positive difference is her favorite aspect of being a hearing healthcare professional. “Hearing loss is very isolating,” she explained. “Hearing aids keep people engaged – helps them keep their independence.”
Dr. Arentz moved to Texas after graduating and worked for a private practice before going to work for Physicians' Hearing Aid Center, a department of Central Park ENT and Surgery Center. The practice, with locations in Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas, consists of six ENT physicians and three audiologists.
All three audiologists, including Justin Langran, Au.D., and Ivonne Perez Cervantes, Au.D., work in partnership with each other as well as with the physicians — a philosophy which ultimately benefits the patient.
“Our main goal is the patient,” Dr. Arentz said. “We put their needs first and foremost. Because we are part of an ENT facility, our goal is to provide best hearing healthcare we can, not to sell you something. If there are medical issues that need to be addressed, we can send you to one of our six in-house ENTs. It’s very convenient for the patients.”
One of Dr. Arentz’s favorite hearing device success stories involves a young, active adult patient. “When she came in for her hearing test and started talking, I could tell she had the speech pattern of someone who had hearing loss for most of her life,” she said. “When I told her she had a significant amount of hearing loss, she was very shocked. It was a matter of getting beyond the denial, then it was enthusiasm for what it was going to be. She was anxious when she first got hearing aids, but she has a great support system and they’ve changed her life. She can hear herself, her speech is clearer and she isn’t tired at the end of the day anymore. Life is all about connecting with each other and communication. When I see outcomes like this, I know I’m in the right profession.”
Dr. Arentz said open fit instruments and connectivity are the two most significant changes in hearing health technology she’s seen since joining the field 13 years ago. “I love it when patients come in and I’m able to connect to their iPhones and iPads,” she said. “Some of my patients probably hear better on their smartphones through their hearing aids than I do by holding mine up to my ear.”
Physicians' Hearing Aid Center audiologists provide a great deal of community awareness, including a hearing protection awareness program through the University of Texas at Arlington’s music department. Dr. Arentz put together a presentation about hearing preservation in musicians, an issue she is passionate about. “We spend a lot of time teaching our kids to brush their teeth and wear their seat belt, but we don’t do enough early in life to teach them how to protect their hearing,” she said. “If musicians damage their hearing, they damage their career and their profession. I tell these musicians 'you have the opportunity to protect your career. It starts with you.'”