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RANZCO Recommends caution after cork narrowly misses Novak Djokovic’s eye


The leaders in eye care, RANZCO, recommend caution when removing corks from champagne bottles after an incident involving tennis champion Novak Djokovic. After winning a tournament in Rome, The World Number 1 celebrated by opening a bottle of champagne, with the cork shooting upwards and narrowly missing his eye.

“Video footage of Djokovic and the champagne cork narrowly missing his eye should be a reminder to us all about the danger of opening champagne bottles. Always make sure you aim the bottle away from yourself and others when opening. These injuries could be very serious and even lead to blindness”, says Sydney ophthalmologist Dr Diana Semmonds. “The cork fits neatly into the orbit – the bony structure of the eye – and as a result at high speed will penetrate that area”.

“We see a quite a few injuries caused by these corks, and other similar devices such as hockey straps which have a tendency to flick back at high speed when pulled taut”, continues Dr Semmonds. The pressure inside a bottle is powerful enough to propel a cork at 50 miles per hour, which can shatter glass at this speed.

Potential eye injures from a flying cork include rupture of the eye wall, glaucoma, retinal detachment, bleeding, dislocation of the lens and damage to the eye’s surrounding bone structure. These injuries require emergency eye surgery or can lead to blindness in the damaged eye.

For more information or to discuss with an ophthalmologist, please contact Luke Vanem on 0426 842 121.

Last updated: November 29, 2018

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