Posted by: North Georgia Eye Associates in General

Celebrate The New Year Safely

We are all looking forward to a fresh start and ready to ring in the New Year with cheer! Every year it is that special time to celebrate with champagne but popping a bottle of bubbly comes with some risks. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a champagne cork can fly up to 50 mph as it leaves the bottle. Champagne cork accidents happen; when a champagne cork flies, there is little time to react and protect your delicate eyes.

For a safe celebration, follow the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s simple tips on how to open a bottle of champagne properly:

  • 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 severe eye injury chances.
  • 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.

View a video demonstration of proper champagne cork removal, and see how the force of a champagne cork can shatter glass

Potential eye injuries from a flying cork include the rupture of the eye wall, acute glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens, and damage to the eye’s surrounding bone structure. These injuries sometimes require emergency eye surgery or lead to blindness in the damaged eye. Please celebrate safely and watch out for EYES when the champagne corks fly.


It’s time to toast and clink carefully to avoid breaking any glasses. Here’s to celebrating responsibly! If you sustain an eye injury from a champagne cork, seek immediate medical attention from your eye doctor.

We wish you a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season!

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References: American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Optometric Association. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided within this newsletter and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.