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Happy New Year! Why Champagne and Eyes Don’t Mix Well Together

Happy New Year!  If you love the holidays, it’s likely you have big plans to ring in the new year.  It’s a special time to get together with family, friends, and loved ones.  To celebrate the start of new beginnings and healthful resolutions.  But New Year Eve celebrations also lead to injuries.  It’s easy to get too caught up in the fun and before you know it, you’re counting down the new year in the emergency room.  Champagne corks may lead to serious eye injuries. Luckily for you, our team of San Francisco Ophthalmologist’s are here to help you in case of emergency.

Flying Champagne Corks

Champagne is a tasty drink that tends to be hard to uncork.  Champagne bottles contain pressure as high as 90 pounds per square inch.  The pressure may launch a champagne cork 5o miles per hour.  According to the doctors of Pacific Eye Associates, champagne cork accidents may lead to serious eye injuries like rupture of the eyewall, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens, damage to the eye’s bone structure.  As well as, acute glaucoma and retinal detachment.

Safety Tips

  •  Keep the Champagne Chilled!  A warm bottle of champagne poses a greater risk than a chilled bottle.  Why?  Well, the bubbles inside the bottle expand as the temperature rises.  Thus, forcing the cork to pop unexpectedly.  Also, if you’re driving to and from a low altitude to a high altitude, (like say from San Franciso to Tahoe) it’s important to ditch your champagne at home and purchase one when you get to your destination.  The changes in altitude will cause the bubbles to expand as well.  
  • Don’t shake the bottle!  This sounds like a no-brainer.  But every time I watch a movie or Novak Djokovic, there’s always a scene that involves a champagne bottle and a shaking before uncorking.
  • Always, always point the bottle away from yourself and others at a 45-degree angle.
  • Hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood on the bottle.
  • Next, place a cloth napkin or a towel around the bottle and grasp the cork.
  • Lastly, twist the bottle while holding the cork to break the seal.  Remember to angle the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and others.  As the cork breaks free from the bottle, use downward pressure to prevent the cork from launching.

If you do experience an eye injury from a champagne cork on New Year’s Eve, seek immediate medical attention from one of our ophthalmologists by calling 415-923-3007.  We will have an on-call doctor who will call you back.

Happy New Year from Pacific Eye Associates!


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2100 Webster St, San Francisco, CA 94115