Popping bubbly to ring in 2024 may be more dangerous than partiers think, as an international team of ophthalmology experts spread awareness of cork-induced eye injuries ahead of the holiday, calling for the proliferation of screw-on caps among Champagne and sparkling winemakers.
The high-pressured bottle stoppers help maintain the hallmark fizz of the celebratory drink — with the capacity to ruin any party as the cork catapults from its vessel at up to nearly 50 miles per hour.
Dr. Ethan Waisberg
A blunt force eye injury at that speed can cause permanent blindness, retinal detachment and lens dislocation, “among other conditions,” researchers wrote.
Among the data cited, the authors highlighted a 2005 international study that found bottle corks responsible for 20% of eye injuries related to pressurized drinks in the US.
Meanwhile, wine drinkers in Hungary — a major wine-producing country — blamed corks for a whopping 71% of such accidents. While the vision for some victims returned, 26% of those injured by bottle corks eventually qualified for legal blindness.
Their warning comes four years after reality star Theo Campbell, of “Love Island” fame, was blinded in one eye after a rogue bottle cork struck him. Despite two eye surgeries to repair his “split” eyeball, he did not recover his vision.