(NEW YORK) -- December 31st is when millions of us ring in the new year with a champagne toast. But all those flying champagne corks could be hazardous to your eyesight. It may surprise you to know that a champagne cork can clock fifty miles per hour as it bursts from the bottle. That's powerful enough to shatter glass -- and to cause permanent eye injury.
So you don't uncork a visit to the emergency room, here are some last-minute safety tips from ophthalmology experts before your New Year celebration.
- Make sure sparkling wine is no warmer than 45 degrees fahrenheit. The cork in a warm bottle is more likely to pop suddenly.
- Don't shake the bottle -- that increases the pressure inside.
- Open the bottle by holding down the cork with your palm while twisting open the wire hood.
- Point the bottle away from people and put a towel over the bottletop and grasp the cork.
- Slowly and firmly twist the bottle while holding the cork, then press downward slightly to control the cork just as it pops free.
Then, you can watch all the new years celebrations with your eyes safe and sound.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio