Restaurant Noise

I read "Scream Cuisine" [April 1] with great interest, not because I am baby boomer with hearing loss, but because I'm a 30-year-old with chronic migraines and a low tolerance for light and noise.

My last birthday became a scavenger hunt for a quiet restaurant where I could celebrate without getting a headache. Unsucessfully, as it turned out; despite assurances when we made our reservation that the noise level was tolerable, we ended up leaving five minutes after we were seated.

I doubt diners seek out a loud establishment to eat in, but some of us definitely won't eat at a place that bombards you with noise. Restaurant owners should take note of that -- if they can hear us.

Katalin H Korossy

Kensington

Considering noise levels has become part of my personal selection process for restaurants, clubs and other venues. I would also like to note that although restaurants may not present dangerous sound levels, clubs and concerts certainly can.

I have been to many events where irresponsible sound system operators pushed the volume far beyond what is required for "crowd energy." Unfortunately, most of the victims of this practice are young people who don't realize that their hearing is being damaged.

Eric Wenocur

Silver Spring

I am over 60 and not hard of hearing, but became very sensitive to this problem during the last years of the life of my mother, who was.

A factor your article didn't mention is that we now have a young-adult population that has grown up with loud music. They not only equate noise with fun, but many are already showing signs of deafness in their thirties.

And restaurants are not the only problem. Many retail establishments play loud music with vocals, making shopping in them an unpleasant experience.

Maryanne Kendall

Reston

To avoid dining where noise levels are uncomfortable and conversation is nearly impossible, we and our friends now ask whether the restaurant will be willing to turn down the music volume when we enter. If they say yes, we stay; if not, we leave. The restaurant has a choice regarding our business, and so do we.

Davi Walders

Chevy Chase

If Stefanie Weiss couldn't hear at Mon Ami Gabi, perhaps it's because she was in the bar, where people drink and are more uninhibited. Mon Ami is the one large restaurant where, if I sit in the first dining room, I can actually hear across the table. (Not that it's quiet, but the acoustics seem to work there.)

Yes, I am of a certain age and, yes, I would like to find restaurants where real grownups can dine and talk with their companions in a conversational tone. The Post should institute the bell/bomb rating system.

Shelly Guggenheim

Bethesda

KidLife: Braces

I enjoyed "The Straight Word on Two-Phase Braces" [KidLife, March 18] and would like to offer some comments.

First, while it is true that only 20 to 25 percent of cases are treated with two-phase orthodontics, there is ample evidence that 75 to 80 percent of cases could (and should) be treated in two phases. This is because the first phase is generally orthopedic (bone) treatment, and the second phase is orthodontic (tooth) movement. If an orthodontist prefers to wait until later and only treat once, the result is often extraction of permanent teeth or a compromised treatment. In addition, most orthodontists who treat in one phase do not place much emphasis on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Orthopedically moving the jaws into the proper position can prevent a whole host of TMJ-related symptoms in later life.

Second, two-phase orthodontics doesn't cost any more in our office. For Phase One, we generally charge 40 to 60 percent of the normal cost for one-phase treatment. Then, if and when Phase Two is required, the patient is given full credit for what they paid toward Phase Two. This is fair to both the patient and doctor, because if Phase One is done correctly, Phase Two becomes very straightforward and takes only about a year. I know of other general dentists who take the same approach.

Michael B. Rogers, DDS

Vienna

Healthy E-mail

"Uncertainty@dr-mail.com" [April 1] mischaracterized HealthyEmail as a "business startup" that's "aggressively marketing secure messaging services," giving the clear impression that HealthyEmail is a for-profit business entity that's seeking to sell software. That's not at all true.

HealthyEmail is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that was formed to promote awareness of the problems involving e-mail communications in health care and adoption of solutions to the security risks associated with inappropriate e-mail communications. In fact, we are giving away both the software and the educational tools at www.healthyemail.org. Our organization, particularly our advisory board, is comprised of industry experts including physicians, risk management experts and regulatory specialists who have come together to address this serious matter in a way that will benefit the health care industry as a whole.

Any health care entities that would be interested in joining our effort should contact us at 866-251-4949.

Stacy Smith

Executive Coordinator

HealthyEmail

Dallas

Editor's Note: While HealthyEmail has nonprofit status, the group is funded by ZixCorp, a for-profit secure e-mail business whose software the nonprofit distributes to doctors. HealthyEmail was launched in February and introduced to members of Congress with the help of a major national PR firm. After two years, according to a HealthyEmail spokesman, doctors who wish to continue using the software will have to pay.

Corrections

A letter in last week's Interactions column gave an incorrect e-mail address for Andover Educators, a network of teachers saving, securing and enhancing musical careers with accurate information about the body in movement. The correct address is www.bodymap.org.

* "A Short-Term Fix?" [The System, April 1] should have indicated that Chesapeake Life Insurance Co., rather than Co-Ordinated Benefits, makes claims decisions for American Health Shield policies. Also, the article incorrectly rendered the first name of Steve Keller.