Uncork With Care, Eye Experts Warn12/31/11
SATURDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- If champagne is a part of
your New Year's Eve celebration, use care when you pop the cork or
it could turn into a dangerous projectile that can cause serious
eye damage, the American Academy of Ophthalmology warns.
When it leaves the bottle, a cork can reach speeds of up to 50
miles an hour and have enough force to shatter glass. This type of
impact on an eye can cause acute glaucoma, detached retina and
staining of the cornea, all of which can result in decreased
"Champagne cork eye injuries can have a devastating impact on your vision," Dr. Kuldev Singh, an ophthalmologist and clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said in an academy news release.
"Many champagne cork-related eye injuries necessitate urgent surgery to prevent significant, permanent vision loss -- a terrible way to spend the holidays. If you follow a few simple steps to properly open a bottle of champagne, you can keep your holidays enjoyable and safe," Singh said.
Here are the AAO's tips for safely opening a bottle of
champagne, also called sparkling wine:
- Never use a corkscrew.
- Chill the bottle to at least 45 degrees F before opening. The
cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.
- Don't shake the bottle. Doing so 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 other people. Place a towel
over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
- Slowly and firmly twist the bottle while holding the cork to
break the seal and continue holding the cork while twisting the
bottle. Do this until the cork is almost out of the bottle's neck.
Use slight downward pressure to counter the force of the cork just
as it breaks free from the bottle.
Prevent Blindness America has more about
eye safety at home.
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