Beware the Exploding Champagne Cork12/31/10
FRIDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Be careful when opening the
champagne bottle on New Year's Eve -- a popped cork can reach a
speed of up to 50 miles per hour, warns an eye expert.
"Incorrect popping of champagne corks is one of the most common holiday-related eye hazards. Anything that travels with such force can have a dangerous effect if it strikes your eye," said Dr. Kuldev Singh, a professor of ophthalmology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, in a news release from the American Academy of Opthalmology (AAO).
Singh, who is also a clinical correspondent for the AAO, added
that "champagne cork injuries can have a devastating impact on your
vision" by leading to problems such as a detached retina, staining
of the cornea and acute glaucoma.
Singh offered the following advice for opening a bottle of
- Chill the bottle to at least 45 degrees F before opening. The
cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.
- Do not shake the bottle. Shaking increases the speed at which
the cork leaves the bottle.
- When opening the bottle, hold down the cork with the palm of
your hand while removing the wire hood.
- Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and
- Place a towel over the top and the bottle and grasp the
- Firmly twist the bottle while holding the cork to break the
seal. Keep holding the cork while twisting the bottle and continue
doing so until the cork is almost out of the neck. Maintain
slightly downward pressure on the cork as it breaks free from the
- Never use a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne or
Prevent Blindness America offers a
home eye safety checklist.
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