Local Stories

Smoking can lead to hearing loss

quitsmokingAccording to a recent study by the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, smokers are at a greater risk for hearing loss. Many cases of hearing loss are not reversible, so awareness and prevention are your best tools for taking care of your hearing. In addition to quitting smoking, experts suggest these tips to protect your hearing:

  • «  Avoid listening to music at high volume while wearing headphones.

  • Experts recommend listening to music at just 60 percent volume, as maximum volume can be higher than 100 decimals.
  • «  Distance yourself from noise.

  • Either avoid environments with high-decibel noise or bring earplugs when you know you’ll be in loud situations.

A Fresh Face on the March of Dimes


On October 19, 2012, first-time mother and local salon stylist, Terra Scoggins’ water broke, fifteen weeks critically shy of her due date. She went into labor fast. So fast that just minutes after arriving at Hilton Head Hospital via ambulance, she gave birth to a son.

Two-pound, eight-ounce newborn “Daxton” had no heartbeat, no breath. A team of neonatal nurses and specialists revived him with critical life-saving care. Afterwards the hospital airlifted Dax to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

“He could have fit into his father’s hand,” said Terra when describing Dax’s first day in the world. “His skin was translucent. You could see all of his tiny veins.” Weeks would pass before she could hold him for the first time. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through.”


A Second Chance to Live

Forty-eight year old Dave Ferguson woke up in the middle of the night alone in his hotel room, drenched in sweat and feeling the incredible intensity of an elephant sitting on his chest. He knew he was having a heart attack. Paralyzed by fear and the crushing pain and pressure, he couldn’t even reach for the phone sitting on his nightstand.

“I’m a Christian but I became more of a Christian that night,” Dave said while recalling that he prayed hard, made lots of promises and asked for forgiveness and a second chance to live.


Run for Your Life!

shutterstock_206480242Running for even five to ten minutes a day, once or twice a week, or at slow speeds was associated with substantial mortality benefits over 15 years, a prospective study showed.

Runners overall had 30% and 45% lower adjusted risks of all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality, respectively, over that period and had three years longer life expectancy compared with non-runners, Duckchul Lee, PhD of Iowa State University found.


Toxic Fat

Obese_ManOver the past decade, we’ve had a mind-boggling increase in what is fast emerging as the most serious and costly health problem in the U.S.: morbid obesity. About 35 percent or 72 million American adults are obese, and of that number, 7 million adults are morbidly obese, a health condition which substantially raises the risk of mortality (death) and morbidity (chronic disease).

The rate of obesity has increased by almost 25 percent but the rate of morbid obesity has grown even faster: people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40 increased by 50 percent. Perhaps most alarmingly, people with a BMI over 50—extreme obesity—grew by 75 percent, three times faster than the rate of obesity. Our children are not immune from the epidemic; we’ve seen a 300 percent increase in overweight children. Obesity-conditions are the fastest growing cause of death, and the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.


From Heat Exhaustion to Heat Stroke

shutterstock_185218067Walking along the shore, wind in your hair and sun up above. Not a care in the world. Enjoy a little bit of heaven but remember: hours in the sun can lead to a dangerous condition called heat exhaustion. Muscle cramps, nausea, dehydration and headache are all signs that you should take cover and rehydrate. Use ice or a wet towel to cool off. Take a cool bath or shower.

Children younger than four, adults older than 65 and people with a serious health condition are most vulnerable. More obvious signs of heat exhaustion include confusion, profuse sweating, and a rapid heart rate. People overheated also might look pale or even vomit. (more…)

Guide to alternative medicine

Buzzwords such as alternative, holistic, complementary, integrative and now functional have been used to describe health care practices such as homeopathy, Ayurveda, chiropractic and acupuncture. By combining conventional and non-traditional practices, this wide range of health care treatment is growing in both popularity and prestige.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 40 percent of Americans report using alternative medicine therapies for pain control when prescribed medications prove to be ineffective. Benefits include less expensive treatments, fewer side effects and an increased focus on a person’s overall well being. By focusing on the mind, body and spirit, some supporters feel it is a more comprehensive alternative to conventional medicine.


Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island

Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island



Its founder, Dr. Jack McConnell, went all the way to the state capitol to pursue his vision of a free medical clinic for the underserved utilizing retired medical professionals. Today, 20 years later, VIM Hilton Head Island’s 600-plus volunteers are providing more than 30,000 patient visits annually and there are 94 clinics around the country based on the VIM model.

In keeping with the optimism and determination that has defined the organization, VIM HHI has worked hard to prepare for the challenging times ahead in health care as the Affordable Care Act is implemented.