As we put the series of calamities that was 2020 behind us, many will pop a bottle of Champagne in celebration. Before you do, learn how to do it safely. A warm bottle of champagne coupled with poor technique can send a cork flying up to 50 mph; powerful enough to shatter glass and eyeballs. Ophthalmologists, physicians specializing in medical and surgical eye care, say exploding corks can cause a wide range of eye injuries, from cuts and bruises to cataracts, glaucoma, and ruptured eyeballs. Cork-related eye injuries are avoidable. Follow these tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to make sure your Champagne is 2020 proof.
- Chill the Champagne before opening. Gas found in Champagne expands when warm and can cause the cork to pop unexpectedly.
- Don’t shake the bottle. This can also cause the bottle to burst unexpectedly and cause an injury.
- When opening, tear off the foil, remove the wire hood and point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and any bystanders.
- Place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
- Slowly and firmly twist the bottle, not the cork. Press down on the cork while twisting the bottle. Do this until the pressure in the bottle begins to push the cork out naturally.
“Champagne cork injuries really do happen, and they have real consequences,” said Dianna Seldomridge, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “For this holiday season, our advice is two-fold. As COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to be at an all-time high, keep your holiday celebrations smaller, limited to immediate household members. And make sure your at-home celebrations are safe from sight-threatening eye injuries. Follow our tips on the safest way to open a bottle of Champagne.”
If injury does occur, seek medical attention immediately from an urgent care medical professional or an ophthalmologist.
About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, we protect sight and empower lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for our patients and the public. We innovate to advance our profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Our EyeSmart® program provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit aao.org.