Death Rattle: Chilling signs you’re about to die
LIKE the old saying goes, only two things are certain. Death and taxes.
It's a grim topic, but death is inevitable, so what happens just before you pass away and how do you know when that moment is likely to come?
One expert said the death rattle is a sure sign someone will depart this world - within the next 23 hours.
The grim phenomenon happens when a person can no longer swallow, cough or clear saliva and mucus from their throats.
A person approaching death will begin to breathe differently, and the rattling sound is a part of that, according to Dr Daniel Murrell, from the University of Alabama in the US.
The death rattle sound can vary.
It can be a crackling noise, while in other cases a person will sound like they're moaning, Medical News Todayrevealed.
And while it's likely to sound horrible, the person who is making the noise will feel no pain, medics reassure.
It's a sign death is very near, on average a person lives around 23 hours after it begins, Dr Murrell said.
And while it can be really distressing for a patient's loved ones, it's not painful and can be eased.
Nurses will often turn a patient on to their side, moisten their mouth with damp swabs or raise a person's head to let gravity help clear the secretions.
Other signs a person is very close to death include:
* frequent yawning - to draw in more oxygen
* they become more sleepy
* drifting in and out of consciousness
* a different odour
* they can become agitated
* dark bruising
* mottled skin
Last year leading neurologist Dr Cameron Shaw revealedwhat he thinks happens to people in the 30 seconds before they pass away.
He said we lose our sense of self, our sense of humour, ability to think ahead - all that goes in the first ten to 20 seconds he concluded after dissecting a woman's brain.
Dr Shaw claims there really is a light at the end of the tunnel, but that doesn't necessarily mean life after death.
Rather he said: "We know from experience tunnel vision emerges abruptly when you suddenly lose blood supply to the brain.
"The first thing you notice when you faint is the narrowing of vision, followed by blackness."
He added the last thing a person will think about before they die is their life, standout moments that make it seem as though their life really is flashing before them.
But out-of-body experiences aren't a thing - rather a trick of the mind, he concluded.
This article was originally published in The Sun and is republished with permission.