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Expert: Champagne cork can put an eye out

Dec. 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM   |   Comments

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- The pressure inside a champagne bottle can launch a cork at 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle, fast enough to shatter glass, U.S. eye experts say.

Dr. Monica L. Monica, an ophthalmologist and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said the speed at which a cork can be unleashed is fast enough to permanently damage vision, including rupture of the eye wall, acute glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens and damage to the eye's bone structure.

These injuries sometimes require urgent eye surgeries, Monica said.

"When a champagne cork flies, you really have no time to react and protect your delicate eyes," Monica said in a statement.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises to:

-- Chill sparkling wine and champagne to 45 degrees F 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.

-- 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.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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