Watch Your Eyes When Popping Champagne During Your Valentine’s Day Celebrations

February 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

Photo courtesy of nlmAdestiny

Photo courtesy of nlmAdestiny

Valentine’s Day is a fun time to make grand, romantic gestures to our loved ones. Our Valentine’s Day  celebrations often involve overloading our “amours” with  flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and champagne toasts. However, a romantic dinner can rapidly go awry if you are not careful when opening a special bottle of champagne.

“A Valentine’s Day dinner can quickly become an emergency trip to the eye doctor if precaution is not taken when opening champagne corks,” said Dr. Alan D. Sampson, ophthalmologist and CEO of Creekside Medical Plaza. “People can become preoccupied with their dinner and forget to prepare themselves for the cork to actually pop. In a matter of seconds, that cork can fly full-force into someone’s eye.”

The American Academy of  Ophthalmology states that champagne bottles contain pressure as high as 90 pounds per square inch, which is strong enough send a champagne cork  flying at 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle.Champagne cork accidents can lead to many serious eye injuries, including rupture of the eye wall, glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens, and damage to the eye’s bone structure. These injuries can require urgent eye surgeries and may lead to blindness in the affected eye.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers the following simple tips on how to properly open a bottle of champagne:

  • Chill sparkling wine and champagne to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or colder before opening. The cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.
  • Don’t shake the bottle. Shaking increases the speed at which the cork leaves the bottle thereby increasing your chances of severe eye injury.
  • Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and any bystanders and hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood on the bottle.
  • Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
  • Twist the bottle while holding the cork at a 45 degree angle to break the seal. Counter the force of the cork using downward pressure as the cork breaks free from the bottle.

If you experience an eye injury from a champagne cork, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. You can reach Dr. Sampson’s office at (707)263-3500.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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