Eyeballs Beware: How Flying Champagne Corks Can Damage Those Peepers

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Celebrating the New Year and bubbly go hand in hand, but a party foul like a champagne cork to the eye can really put the “pain” in champagne.

Every Year, improper cork-removal techniques cause serious and potentially blinding eye injuries including rupture of the eye wall, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, and damage to the eye’s bone structure.

Champagne bottles contain more pressure than a car tire. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, champagne bottles can have pressure as high as 90 pounds per square inch—which can launch a cork at 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle. That’s fast enough to shatter glass! And if it can shatter glass, it is sure fast enough to permanently damage your vision as well.

Don’t become a party-pooper, and protect those peepers with these simple guidelines.

How to properly open a bottle of champagne

• Don’t unscrew the safety wire of the cork until the bottle is pointing well away from people – and put the palm of your hand over the cork while you are removing the wire, just in case.
• Don’t pop the cork with your thumbs – gently twist it with one hand.
• Put a towel over the cork as you are removing it.
• You may think that opening a bottle near a wall is safe, but a cork can ricochet off a surface and propel itself into an eye.
• Make sure the champagne is chilled – a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.

Should you ever experience an eye injury from a champagne cork, seek immediate medical attention from an eye doctor.

Champagne won’t be the only culprit of a potential party mishap. Check out this post on other party props that you’ll want to handle with care.


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