7 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragons Eye Is Stuck Shut

In the course of monitoring the unique behaviors of a bearded dragon, one may take notice of its often inclination to keep one eye shut and leave the other wide open. This particular conduct raises a lot of questions and could be rather alarming and unsettling. Closing both eyes is a behavior in animals and particularly reptiles, that doesn’t raise any worries. It could be as a result of sleep or as means of shielding the eyes from any danger. However, where an eye is stuck shut while the other isn’t, there is a cause for alarm. Actually, in some cases, nothing is disturbing about shutting one eye, but in other times, there is a possibility of an underlying problem.   

Why do bearded dragons keep one eye stuck shut? One fundamental part of raising a pet is to be able to understand the communication techniques of your pet. Bearded dragons are an intelligent reptile species. If your bearded dragon’s eye is stuck shut, then it means something could be very wrong. This behavior does not signify an outward problem. It points to an internal issue with your bearded dragon. Here are some of the possible issues.

Reasons why Bearded Dragons Keep One Eye Stuck Shut

Difficulties Arising During shedding

If proper care is not taken, the shedding period could be quite a difficult period for a bearded dragon. Shedding can occur twice or more in a year, and irrespective of smooth sheds that occurred in the past, there is a possibility that the next shed could prove problematic. In the instance where your dragon is experiencing a shed and at the same time keeping an eye shut, you have to thoroughly inspect the outer part of the closed eye for remnants during the shed.

A simple remedy could be used to help complete the shedding around the closed eye. You can soak a piece of cotton wool in warm water and apply it on the shed remnants and leave it for a while. This will make the shed skin softer, and you can softly wipe it off with the cotton wool.

Parasitic Infections

A mite is an example of a parasite that poses a serious problem that could be responsible for your bearded dragon shutting off an eye. Mites could manifest in the outer area of the eye as small black or red dots surrounding the eye.

Parasitic infections could be a serious issue for a pet bearded dragon. If, after your inspection, you believe that your bearded dragon has a parasitic infection or mites, you must take quick action by taking it to the veterinary doctor for proper care.


All living things need water, and they all manifest the lack of water in different ways. A dehydrated bearded dragon could shut off one eye. Lethargic displays and eyes that look sunken also point to dehydration. The solution to this is to make provision for a sufficient supply of water for your bearded dragon.

Dehydration could lead to worse problems for your bearded dragon, so it is an issue that requires swift action. The depth of the bowl used in giving them water could also affect their desire to take the water. Use a shallow and wide bowl if that’s the case.

Harmful things inside the eye

A closed eye could be caused by a reaction to the presence of something in that particular eye. A minor accident could happen in a bearded dragon’s tank, which could lead to an eye injury. The cornea of that eye could be punctured or scratched in the process. This could make your bearded dragon shut that eye.

Also, an alien object could find its way into the eye of your bearded dragon. It could be dirt or loose substrate in the tank. This could prove very troublesome for a bearded dragon. If it is possible, you can help your pet remove such an object by gently washing the eyes.

If this issue persists or you are unable to extract the alien object, contact the vet as soon as possible.  


The eye is a very sensitive part of the body. The normal reaction to something getting worryingly close to one’s eye is to shut it. When bearded dragons are near humans, they may close one of or both their eyes when you caress them. This is a natural reaction.  


Reptiles are cold-blooded, and bearded dragons are not an exception to this. Their bodies need the heat from the sun to help regulate their temperature as they are incapable of doing it themselves. In the wild, they instinctively know how to get adequate heat from the sun at strategic periods. This is known as basking.

During basking, bearded dragons could shut an eye or both eyes to protect themselves from strong, direct sunlight. This is a normal occurrence. Domesticated bearded dragons usually do not have direct access to the sun. Owners usually circumvent this issue by artificially fitting lighting in the dragon’s cage.

Lighting issues and low humidity

As stated previously, artificially fitted lighting is paramount in the absence of sunlight. Unsuitable lighting is harmful to the general well-being of your bearded dragon. If you observe the closure of an eye or both sometimes during the day, you may need to inspect the lighting of the cage.

UVB lighting is commonly used by bearded dragon owners. The appropriate measurement is 10.0 to 12.0. To avoid problems resulting from excess lighting, endeavor to get the measurement right.  

You can switch off the light for a couple of days and observe if there are any changes with the eyes of your bearded dragon. If this doesn’t help, you need to inspect the humidity of the cage.

 Bearded dragons don’t function well if the level of humidity is too low, and they may shut one eye as a reaction to this. There must always be a certain amount of dampness in their surroundings. You need to constantly maintain the perfect humidity levels for them. This ranges from 30% to 40%. Anything lower could have harmful effects on their skin.   

Related Questions

Do bearded dragons blink their eyes?

Yes, they do. Although not as often as humans. The blinking helps to clean their eyes.

How can I increase the humidity in my pet’s cage?

You need to put an extra water container in the cage. The heat from the lighting will vaporize the water and help increase the humidity in the cage. You can also add mist by adding live plants in the cage. They will help in moisturizing the cage.  


Eye issues can be very harmful if you don’t address them immediately. You must always take note if your bearded dragon is shutting its eyes often. Quickly inform the vet, and you can also try the remedies suggested. It is also important to ensure the cage is always clean to reduce the occurrence of eye problems.