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Visual and Hearing Changes as Death Approaches

Visual changes are fairly common as you near death. You may notice that you cannot see well.

You may hear sounds or see things that no one else experiences (hallucinations). Visual hallucinations are very common as death approaches.

If you are caring for a dying person who is experiencing hallucinations, gentle reassurance is often helpful. Acknowledge what the person is experiencing. Denying that the hallucinations are occurring can often be upsetting and frustrating to the dying person. Talk to the person, even if he or she is in a coma. It is generally recognized that dying people can hear, even when in a deep comatose state. People who have recovered from comas often describe being able to hear during the time they were in the coma.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Shelly R. Garone, MD - Palliative Medicine
Last Revised July 12, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 12, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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