Why Do Eyes Open After Death?


Quick Answer

In some cases, when a person dies, the jaw muscles and muscles surrounding his eyes relax, causing the mouth and eyes to open slightly, according to Willamette Valley Hospice. If the person dies in a hospital or other care facility, nurses or other attendants often shut the eyes.

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Why Do Eyes Open After Death?
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Full Answer

In past times, people placed heavy coins on the eyes of the dead in an effort to keep their eyelids closed before rigor mortis occurred. According to a Business Insider article, the eyes of the dead tend to flatten shortly after death. Morticians often place eye caps over a corpse's eyes to give them the curved appearance people are used to seeing.

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