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Why Is My Bearded Dragon Closing One Eye? Causes and Solutions

It’s common for a bearded dragon to close its eyes in response to several things. Our primary concern is, why would a dragon close only one eye? 

Bearded dragons are smart pets; they can communicate either by closing their eyes, but some dragon enthusiasts don’t understand their beardies. 

Further, in this article, we will learn why your bearded dragon’s one eye is closed, why these lizards close both eyes, how to address the issue, and more. Keep reading for detailed information.

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

Why is Bearded Dragon One Eye Closed?

Bearded Dragon One Eye Closed

Is your bearded dragon closing its one eye something to worry about? When a dragon closes a single eye, there might be a problem. A bearded dragon shutting both eyes is something usual; however, if it often shuts one eye, it can be too much of an issue. 

So, what causes a bearded dragon to close one eye? Let’s find out. Everything you should know is right here. 


Closing one eye in bearded dragons is not necessarily a response to external stimuli, but it is a way in which the beardie tells you that something is not going well internally. The beardies are prone to many types of parasites, such as mites, coccidia, protozoans, etc. 

The beardies that are more susceptible to parasites have even the tendency to become sick. You may wonder how your dragon gets parasites, but they can come from the substrates or sometimes from live food, specifically insects. 

The parasites can be present in the substrate. For example, the oocysts of coccidia live in the bedding material for up to months. The oocysts are resistant to temperatures and harsh conditions. When these oocysts enter the bearded dragon’s digestive tract, their life cycle starts, and they become infectious.

New to a bearded dragon? Check out the bearded dragon care sheet now! We listed everything you need to know about bearded dragons as pets. Check it out!

Let’s continue reading.

Mites are the major parasites associated with an eye problems, where they find regions around the eye to be somewhat hospitable. It is good to note that parasites rarely result in swelling. 

Disease or Infection

The closing of one eye can be due to infection. There may be an infection behind the socket, inside the eye, or even behind it. 

Your beardie’s eye can become sick due to bacterial and viral infection or infection from other organisms. It is easy to know if the eye has an infection because of swelling and sometimes discharge coming from the eye. 

The dragon is closing its eye because of infected tissues. If there are no visible signs, such as eye swelling, you must note when the beardie is closing its eye. It tends to close the eye at different durations throughout the day. 

It is always recommended to take your beardie to a vet if you suspect its eye infected. Eye infection may be severe and can eventually lead to blindness or retinal detachment. Save your cute pet from such a problem by acting quickly. 

Foreign Objects in the Eye

The eyes of bearded dragons are susceptible to various infections, and they are symptomatic sites of various infections. Eye sockets of the eyes may be inflamed due to the proliferation of bacteria.

Sometimes the eye bulges due to inflammation of the eye socket. Because inflammation increases blood circulation in the eyes’ blood vessels and pushes the eye outward, the bearded dragon closes the eye when it has a problem with any of its eyes. This way, it protects it from the outer environment.

The truth is, your beardie won’t tell you what is disturbing it. You must observe any behavioral changes to know whether the pet is okay or not. 

When a dragon closes one eye, be sure to check the eye for any foreign material stuck in there and, if possible, remove it. Then, watch the beardie to see if the problem is sorted out in a day. 

If the problem does not resolve, contact or take the pet to your reptile veterinarian immediately for a checkup. 

How To Address Eye Problems in Bearded Dragons

Addressing Bearded Dragon Eye Problems
Addressing Bearded Dragon Eye Problems

Eye problems can be dangerous, especially if it is left untreated. It is a better option to inform your vet right away. As time passes, it might get harder to treat the problem and even worsen. 

The treatment depends on the site of infection. If there is foreign material in the, consult a vet to remove it. Or a vet will prescribe eye drops to remove the material.

In the case of parasites or infections, the vet is in an excellent position to know the exact culprit through a checkup or fecal test. If the vets confirm there is an infection, he can give you an oral antibiotic or eye ointment.

Never attempt to buy any drug for your pet if you don’t know the root cause of the problem. This can be dangerous for your beardie.

Clean The Tank More Frequently

Also, you can control the parasites in your pet’s enclosure by keeping the substrates clean. Remember, the substrates can attract parasites like mites into the tank and expose them to the dragon. 

New to a bearded dragon? Check out the bearded dragon care sheet now! We listed everything you need to know about bearded dragons as pets.

It is recommended to clean the tank regularly, anywhere from 10-14 days, and sanitize the whole tank and the accessories with a bleach solution. An ideal sanitizer is a 20% bleach solution. Cleanliness helps to keep parasites away, and the beardie stays healthy. 

Why Does a Bearded Dragon Close Both Eyes?

As I said, a bearded dragon can close its eyes to communicate what it wants or as a way to respond to a particular stimulus. Let’s look at the different situations when and why a dragon will close its eyes. 

A Beardie can Close its Eyes When You Hold or Pet it

Perhaps, as a dragon owner, you may have noticed your beardie closing its eyes when you are petting it. Most people tend to think that the pet is enjoying being petted, which is not true. 

Closing the eyes at this time means that you may be stressing your beardie, or it feels threatened. It is a way of telling you that the beardie wants you to leave it alone. 

Typically, bearded dragons behave like that when they are not used to you, or it is a sign that they want some space. 

Eyes Closed During Basking

When a beardie closes their eyes when basking, it is typical behavior. Probably, the beardie shuts the eyes when the UVB is too close to the resting spot and causes discomfort.

Whenever you see your bearded dragon closing its eyes when basking, and it happens repeatedly, make sure to raise the lights slightly. Also, if the light is too close, it can cause eye problems. 

Providing the appropriate heating and lighting equipment, substrate, and adequate temperatures on the warmer and cooler side of the enclosure is necessary. It can help to prevent the eye disturbances that may cause the beardie to close its eyes. 

There is also a probability that a bearded dragon is closing its eyes not to see a predator. Maintaining eye contact with a large predator can be challenging, and the beardie will opt to close its eyes since it can threaten them.

How Long Can a Bearded Dragon Take To Recover from Eye Problem?

Bearded Dragon Healthy Eyes
Bearded Dragon Healthy Eyes

The time taken for the problem to be resolved will depend on what is causing it. If it is only a foreign object and there are no other injuries, the beardie can improve immediately after removing the particle. 

The recovery of eye problems depends on the severity of the infection. If the infection is localized in the eye, it can be treated with appropriate therapy within a week. However, if the infection is multifocal, it can take a long time to recover.

With the timely administration of drugs, the beardie’s eye can heal after a week or more but not more than a month. 


I hope this article has been helpful to you and you found this information to be valuable. 

Your beardie closing one eye is just a sign that there is a problem, and it requires your help. Make sure to help your pet right away. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will become. 

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