Champagne Dangers

Drinking Champagne Can Cause Serious Injuries

Whether you are bringing in the New Year, toasting at a wedding, or celebrating a special occasion, champagne is a key element involved in any type of festivity. But while intoxication may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the dangers surrounding champagne, there is another – a pressurize cork exploding and hitting you in the eye.

Credit: Morguefile

According to Ophthalmologists, eye specialists, hundreds of people each year suffer from serious, potentially blinding injuries from having a wayward champagne cork fly off the bottle and hit them in the eye.  The two main causes for this type of injury is warm bottles of champagne, as the cork is more likely to pop unexpectedly if the bottle is warm, as well as using the wrong technique to open a bottle of champagne.

Champagne bottles contain pressure as high as 90 pounds per square inch, which is higher than the pressure found inside a typical car tire. This pressure can launch a champagne cork at a speed of 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle, which is fast enough to shatter glass. Imagine that type of pressure hitting your eye. Imagine the damage it could do.

Champagne cork accidents can lead to a range of serious eye injuries that can include rupturing the eye wall, acute glaucoma, detachment of the retina, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens, and serious damage to the eye and cheek bone structure. Some of these injuries can result in emergency surgeries, like stiches in the eye, or repair of the eye structure or wall, and can sometimes lead to permanent blindness on the injured eye.

So to protect your delicate eyes, and to make sure you don’t end up in the hospital at your next champagne-fuel party or celebration, below are tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology on how to properly open a bottle of champagne.

-  Champagne needs to be chilled to 45 Degrees Fahrenheit or colder before it is opened, as the cork on the bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly if it is warm.

-  Don’t ever shake the bottle. This will build up pressure within the bottle and will cause the cork to leave the bottle faster, therefore increasing your chances of a serious eye injury.

-  When opening the bottle, point it at a 45 degree angle away from yourself and any other person, and hold down the cork with the palm of your hand when removing the wire hold on the bottle top.

-  Place a tea towel over the entire bottle top and hold the cork firmly.

-  Still holding the champagne on a 45 degree angle, twist the bottle to break the seal.

-  Counter the pressure of the cork by using downward pressure as the cork pops free from the bottle.

Below is a video that shows the proper way to remove a cork from a champagne bottle. Enjoy your next champagne safely!

Champagne Safety

How to Open Champagne Properly