Watch out for flying champagne corks, eye doctors warn

Lindsay Jolivet
Daily Buzz

The American Academy of Ophthalmology would like to remind you that you could lose an eye this New Year's Eve.

In an online post, the eye doctor's association tells the public to be cautious when uncorking champagne tonight. The association has even provided an instructional video demonstrating how to open the bottle properly.

It's sound advice — the organization says a champagne cork can fly up to 80 kilometres per hour. At that speed, a cork could shatter eye glasses and potentially blind someone, which would certainly put a damper on the celebrations.

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Nonetheless, worrying about making it through the night with both eyes intact is kind of a party downer. To safely open the bottle of champagne, the organization advises chilling the bottle to the proper temperature, avoiding shaking it and covering the top of the bottle with a towel while you open it slowly.

Or, you could ignore that completely and use a large knife to make the process even more dangerous.

Authorities issue warnings about eye safety almost every New Year's Eve, sometimes detailing gruesome injuries such as retinal detachment and rupture of the eye wall.

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A study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology said 32,000 people in the U.S. were treated for "bottle related trauma" in 1974 but that estimate dropped to 12 people in 1990 and 5 people in the year 2000.

So remember kids, safety first or you'll shoot your eye out.

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