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Take care when opening your festive fizz!

Every year scores of Brits suffer serious / sight threatening eye injuries after being hit by corks as they ‘pop’ from bottles of fizz.

Injuries caused by corks as they fly out of the bottle at speeds of up to 60mph, range from bloodshot and black eyes to detached retinas and intraocular haemorrhages. Being hit in the eye by a cork can also lead to the onset of glaucoma and in extreme cases the loss of an eye.

So, always crack open the bubbly with care.


Here are our top tips to avoiding eye injuries when enjoying your festive fizz!

- Make sure you chill your fizz – a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.

- Keep the protective wire over the cork until you’re ready to pour to prevent it popping open unexpectedly!

- Don’t shake it. Shaking the bottle increases the pressure inside and can result in an even more explosive reaction when you crack it open.

- When opening, cover the top of the bottle with a cloth (a tea towel is perfect), then holding it at a 45-degree angle gently twist the bottle whilst holding the cork.


Remember, never ever point the bottle towards yourself or others when opening. 

In the event that a cork does hit you in the eye you should seek immediate medical attention to minimise any potential damage to your vision.


Eye Trauma Services

Access the urgent eye care service if available in your local area (find out more here) or contact your local eye accident and emergency service. Find your nearest Eye A&E here.

NHS 111 also available 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. 111.nhs.uk.


Published: 5 December 2023