Eye Injuries from Champagne Celebrations
A Champagne cork can fly up to 50 mph as it leaves the bottle – fast enough to shatter glass. If the cork hits an eye, it can cause bleeding and abrasions.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers tips on how to safely open champagne to keep Holiday and New Year’s celebrations from turning tragic.
Chill the Champagne
Champagne bubbles are filled with gas that expands when warm. To preserve your eyesight and prevent the bottle from opening unexpectedly, always chill your Champagne in the fridge or on ice.
Don’t shake or point the bottle towards anyone
Shaking a bottle of Champagne builds pressure and causes the cork to explode from the bottle at extremely high speed. Never point a bottle in someone’s direction. It could cost them their sight. Instead, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle; with the base slightly lower than the opening—and point it away from yourself and any bystanders.
Press down on the cork while firmly twisting the bottle
Tear off the foil then remove the wire hood. Place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the cork. Slowly and firmly twist the base of the bottle while holding the cork firmly. Do this until the pressure in the bottle begins to push the cork out naturally. Press down on the cork to prevent it from popping out too quickly.
Handle delicate glasses with care
Toast and clink carefully to avoid breaking the Champagne glasses.
If you do sustain an eye injury from a champagne cork, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. An eye injury from a champagne cork can lead to loss of vision, cataract and advanced glaucoma.
Ophthalmologist Neil B. Griffin, M.D., is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and fellowship trained in cornea and external eye disease. Dr. Neil Griffin specializes in LASIK, cataract and cornea surgery.