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.

Last Updated: July 14, 2008

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