Champagne cork can put an eye out

Dec. 31, 2010 at 1:28 AM
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DALLAS, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Exploding champagne corks add a dramatic flair to a holiday party but they can also cause serious eye injuries, an ophthalmologist warns.

Dr. Preston Blomquist, an ophthalmologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, says a champagne cork can cause ruptured globes, detached retinas and painful bruising.

To uncork champagne corks safely, Blomquist recommends:

-- Chill champagne and sparkling wine to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit because a cork in a cold bottle is less likely to pop unexpectedly.

-- Hold the cork down with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood.

-- Point the bottle away from people and hold it at a 45-degree angle.

-- Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle, grasp the cork, and slowly and firmly twist to break the seal. Hold the bottle firmly with one hand and use the other hand to slowly turn the cork with a slight upward pull. Continue until the cork is almost out of the neck and counter the outward force of the cork by applying slight downward pressure just as the cork breaks free from the bottle.

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