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Weird or Not? Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging

There are many behaviors that beardies display, but bearded dragon eyes bulging is pretty weird, and it has freaked out many dragon owners.

Hey beardy lovers, don’t get scared! It looks a bit scary but it is actually a very normal bearded dragon behavior.

This article will take you through the beardies’ eyes bulging and everything you need to know about it.

I hope you will find it helpful but before it, let’s check our infographic about bearded dragon eyes bulging. You may not need to read this article to find out more.

Nah, I just joking! reading will help you deeply understand the reasons and what to do when your beardies show this trait.

Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging Infographics
Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging Infographics

This article has been reviewed by Dr. Dilber. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

Understanding Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging

Understanding Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging
Understanding Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging

Eyes bulging in bearded dragons is one of the behaviors that the dragons exhibit, but only during specific occasions. Eyes bulging in bearded dragons will disappear immediately afterward.

When it comes to eyes bulging, is the first image that comes to mind a chameleon?

Haha, yeah, you got that right! Chameleons bulge their eyes more often than bearded dragons to increase the ability to see a larger area.

This is made possible by the muscular eyelid, which prevents the eyeball from popping out and the presence of a deep socket to hold the eye in position. 

If you are lucky to have seen a chameleon bulging eyes, it is not different from what happens in bearded dragons. It happens quickly and sometimes you may not even notice it. 

The primary concern here is, why exactly do the beardies bulge out their eyes?

Firstly, I need you to know that eyes bulging in bearded dragons is not something that should worry you. It is indeed a common and normal behavior in bearded dragons due to four reasons: shedding, yawning, itching, and high blood pressure.

Now, let’s dive deep into the reasons why bearded dragons bulge out their eyes. Don’t miss any single information. 

Why Do Bearded Dragons Bulge Out Their Eyes?

Why Do Bearded Dragons Bulge Out Their Eyes?
Why Do Bearded Dragons Bulge Out Their Eyes?

You will always hear people talking about arm-waving, black bearding, head bobbing, and mouth opening in bearded dragons. However, not many people will tell you about bearded dragon eyes bulging.

When I first saw it, it was genuinely dismaying


I could not help but get on the Internet, and by the time I was done with Googling, I informed my reptile vet about it.

That is how scary eye-bulging can be, especially to the new beardie owners. 

If this is the first time you notice eye-bulging behavior in your beardies, you are lucky to receive this piece of information.

If you haven’t seen it before, you will not be much startled when you notice your bearded dragon bulging its eyes out.

Again, as I shared earlier, your beardies is doing this for a purpose as we are going to see.

Bearded Dragon Bulging Eyes When Shedding

Many people notice that their baby tend to bulge the eyes for awhile (just a moment) and it right after back to normal.

The reason behind is that bearded dragons do that to stretch the skin around its eyes.

Another notice that baby and juvenile beardies tend to bulge their eyes more often than adult.

The main reason is that adult bearded dragons shed only every few months while baby and juvenile shed more often.

Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging Due to Yawning

Hey, does it sound strange? I do see it strange.

Yawning, some owners say that after yawning, their beardies eyes start bulging. I haven’t notice that in my bearded dragons.

But if you read the next reason, you will see some relevant points. Me also noticed that and that is why I added this reason to the list.

Eyes Bulging Out Due to High Blood Pressure

Horned lizards have a unique way to defend themselves from the predators through a blood shoot. Here is how they do it, the muscles around the eye contracts and then stops the blood from flowing to the heart. 

Instead, the blood flows to the eyes and fills the ocular sinuses. As the muscles continue to contract speedily, the pressure on the thin sinus membrane escalates, making the membrane to rupture. 

Then, the lizard releases a stream of blood that shoots up to one meter from the eyes; this frightens the predators, making them flee. Horned lizards also use this mechanism to get rid of foreign objects from the eyes. 

It’s all about using blood to defend in Horned lizards. Now, what does it mean to bearded dragons? High blood pressure increases the blood flow to the blood vessels present in the eye-socket of the beardies. So, when the blood vessels behind the eyes expand, the eyes bulg out.

It is believed that bearded dragons might also possess the ability to raise blood pressure behind their eyes, making the eyes bulge out.

Again, these are only beliefs from scientists trying to show eyes bulging in bearded lizards happen intentionally and for a purpose. 

There are some situations where people are concerned that eye bulging is due to an infection or eye problem. None of those are ratified. 

Bearded Dragons Bulging Out their Eyes for Itching

Another belief about eyes bulging in bearded lizards is that they do it to itch their eyes. I still cannot turn it down or accept it to be true specifically, but let’s see whether it seems reasonable. 

Bearded dragons have a cavity behind their eyes that is empty. So, the beardies fill this cavity with blood, which eventually pushes the eyes out. It is believed that the beardies do this mainly to itch the eyes. 

Source: Facebook

Sometimes, the eyes can bulge out so far that you will think they are about to explode out of the head.

If you are an unprepared-witness, you can guess how the response will be; it will definitely freak you out. 

There is a belief that bearded dragons tend to distend their eyes from the socket to freak out their owners, quite funny.

All these are just mysteries and are yet to be proved. 

Should I Be Worried When My Bearded Dragon is Bulging Its Eyes Out?

Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging
Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging
(Source: KD’s Random Adventures YouTube)

This is a great question, let me clarify with you that one more time, eyes bulging behavior in beardies is nothing to worry you.

There exist only theories from scientists trying to support it. As we have seen, eyes bulging occurs many times in bearded dragons, especially the young beardies. 

Sometimes, bearded dragons can bulge their eyes and without you even noticing because it lasts for seconds before the eyes resume to their standard shape.

With all the cases that have been notified about bearded dragon’s eyes bulging, there are no injuries or damages that have been reported

Eyes bulging in bearded dragons is not unhealthy, and it is nothing of great concern.

Perhaps, the only one case when you need to worry is when this behavior lasts for more than an hour at a time.

If that happens, you need to make sure that you see your reptile veterinarian for a check-up. The vet may check on the blood pressure of your beardie pet if it is at a healthy level.

If you don’t have time to visit your vet, we have our vet support at the bottom of the page. They will answer your question instantly.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Eyes Swollen? 

Bearded dragon eyes swelling is not always a big problem, and in most cases, you don’t need to worry. It could be due to the same reasons that result in eye-bulging, as we have seen above. The beardie is probably getting ready to enter into the shedding process. 

However, on some occasions where the eyes remain swollen for more than one hour at a time, and it repeats itself more frequently, you may want to visit your reptile vet right away. 

Many medical issues could result in swollen eyes in bearded dragons, including high blood pressure, bacterial and fungal infections, and tumors as well. Anytime you suspect that your beardie has a problem, make sure to take a trip to a reptile veterinarian to hear his opinion. 

Can Bearded Dragons Pop-Out their Eyes?

It may sound funny, but this is indeed a great question. Without beating around the bush, let me give you a direct answer, which is no. Bearded dragons will never pop out their eyes completely. 

They can only bulge the eyes out and not pop them out. I hope this is clear to you after reading the article above. The beardies bulge the eyes out primarily to help in shedding. 

So, next time you see your bearded dragon bulging its eyes, don’t be startled. The eyes cannot pop out, not even at any single time. 

Why Do Bearded Dragons Close Their Eyes While Awake?

Have you ever noticed your bearded dragon closing its eyes even when it is awake, and you are wondering what does that mean?

Anyway, it is always good to be concerned about your pet. This shows that you are a responsible dragon owner. 

If you see your beardie pet closing its eyes and it is not sleeping, it can be due to a variety of reasons.

First, eyes bulging in beardies can make the eyes appear like they are partially closed, and this may be the reason for bearded dragons to close their eyes. 

The eyes may be closed due to fungal infection, bacterial infection, or because of the presence of foreign objects in the eyes. Bearded dragons also close their eyes when they are stressed. besides that any underlying disease can also compel them to close their eyes.

Always keep an eye on your dragon, and if you think there is a problem, don’t hesitate to visit or call a reptile vet. 

Bearded Dragon Eye Infection

If a bearded dragon has an eye infection, its eyes appear droopy, and this is something that can bother you. Eyes looking droopy could also be due to kidney issues, or there are parasites in the eyes. 

Also, an eye infection can make the beardie eyes swollen. The becomes inflammed, especially eyelids. There is also a possibility that the eye is swollen or is puffed out due to overdosed vitamin A. 

Eye infection can become severe if the lizard is left unattended, so you need to see the vet if you feel your dragon is suffering from this problem. 

Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and you found it insightful. Typically, bearded dragon eyes bulging is nothing to make you panic.

It is a natural ability in bearded dragons and is mostly displayed when they want to shed. 

You only need to keep an eye on your dragon and note when this behavior appears and how long it takes to disappear.

Next time you see your beardie bulging its eyes, don’t freak out, it is something common.

Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging

3 thoughts on “Weird or Not? Bearded Dragon Eyes Bulging”

  1. So I have a beardie that is 3 years old. She went through dystocia and thankfully; absorbed her eggs, still keeping an eyyyyye…on her. No pun intended. But when she is sleeping her eyes our bulging out. They go away when she wakes up and if she is woken up they go back to normal. Is this normal for it to happen ONLY when they are sleeping?


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