Why Does My Bearded Dragon Close One Eye?

If your bearded dragon is closing one eye, it could mean something is wrong with the eye. This is especially true when the eye shuts over a prolonged period and more often than normal. So, why is your bearded dragon closing one eye constantly?

A bearded dragon closing one eye could be a sign of eye infection, parasites such as mites, or just a protective mechanism when basking in the sun. Check for any swelling or inflammation around the shut-eye and take the lizard to a reptile veterinarian for proper diagnosis.

Why does my bearded dragon close one eye?

bearded dragon closes one eye

The first thing you want to do is observe when the lizard closes its eyes. Is it a constant problem, or is the lizard closing its eyes when being pet? Knowing this can help you determine if the beardie is sick or just closing their eyes normally.

Here are reasons why your bearded dragon closes one eye:

Eye infection

A bearded dragon eye infection is the most common reason for eye closure. Bacterial eye infections are characterized by a discharge hanging off the eye or an ulcer near the eye.

You may also see minor redness or swelling around the eyes if there’s irritation. Other symptoms include cloudiness and increased sensitivity, fluid leaking from the beneath eyeball area (usually green), pus coming out of eye sockets, etc.

If you notice any symptoms like these on your beardie’s face, schedule a vet appointment as soon as possible to get treatment in time and prevent further damage to the eye. If left untreated, it can cause blindness in one eye permanently!


Parasites on a bearded dragon’s face can also cause eye closure. The most common external parasites on lizards are parasites such as mites and ticks.

One way you might notice parasites on your bearded dragon’s face is by seeing the red spots they cause from bites near the eyes or mouth of the lizard. You may also start seeing discharge from one eye caused by an ulcer in that area.

Parasites can cause general discomfort to your lizard, which means the pet might not rest as usual, or even feed properly. You’ll quickly start to see problems such as restlessness, discolored skin around the eye area, mass wasting, and sometimes too much waving.

Reptile mites

Reptile mites or snake mites are common in bearded dragons. They mostly come from where you bought the pet. However, if you commonly visit places like pet orphanages where hygiene is not so good, you’re likely to come back with mites and introduce them in the enclosure.

  • Reptile mites bite hard on the skin of your bearded dragon and can cause severe stress to the lizard.
  • They appear as small brown or black dots on the lizard’s skin. Therefore, if your bearded dragon is closing one eye, you want to check the eye area to see if it is a mite infestation causing the problem.
  • Since they cause discomfort, you may see your beardie struggling to dislodge mites from its skin, including the area around the eye.

Keep in mind that reptile mites are very difficult to eradicate, so it is worth attempting to prevent the infestation from occurring in the first place.


Ticks are a little large and will be visible on your bearded dragon. When they bite, they can cause injury to the bearded dragon, especially when it is near the eye. In addition, ticks can cause the affected eye to close – which is basically a way of protecting the inner part from being bitten and injured.

  • You’ll notice adult ticks by their physical appearance, especially if they suck blood from the pet.
  • If left for long without treatment, ticks can cause anaemia in small pets like geckos or lizards.

These parasites will spread and severely damage your beardie’s sight if left untreated for too long. So, if you suspect parasites, schedule a vet appointment right away so that they can get rid of them before it gets worse and there becomes permanent blindness in one eye.

High temperatures and bright sunlight

A bearded dragon may close one eye if its environment is too hot or cold for them to handle. For example, if it’s an especially hot day and your beardie has been basking in the sun all morning, he might close his eyes when petting because it feels too warm.

It is normal for the beardie to shut one eye or even both when UVB is too bright, so you might want to check the light’s intensity.

Also, if one eye is stuck shut, it could be a sign of infection. Take the reptile to a vet for a check-up and further advice.

Swelling or inflammation

If your dragon shuts one eye while being handled, then there could be something wrong with its eye. Some things to keep an eye out for are swelling around the eyelid or face area and discharge from the nostrils (which typically implies some infection).

If you see your bearded dragon closing one eye, try to examine the pet around the eye area to see if there’s any swelling or inflammation causing discomfort, forcing the beardie to close one or both its eyes.

Remember that aggression or fights between lizards can cause injuries to the eye or any other part of the body. So be sure to check the eye that is closing to see if there’s any sign of injury.

Bearded dragon closes one eye when being pet.

A bearded dragon may close one eye when being pet. While this doesn’t happen all the time, it is not uncommon to see a beardie do this occasionally. Here are some of the reasons why they might be closing their eye:

  • Discomfort: Closing one eye or even both when being pet can be a sign of discomfort in bearded dragons. Unlike other pets, beardies can easily feel discomfort when being pet and may shut their eyes to protect themselves.
  • Pain around the eye area: Closing one eye when being pet could also mean the area you are touching is inflamed and produces pain when touched. You might want to check the eye that’s being closed to be sure you’re not hurting your reptile.

Be careful when your bearded dragon closes one eye when being petted. Also, if you see your bearded dragon turning black and puffing up when being pet, you might want to stop immediately as it means you’re irritating the dragon and might just get bitten.

Bearded dragon closes its eyes when basking.

When basking in the sun, your bearded dragon may close one or both eyes to protect itself from the sun’s intensity. This is common, especially in the summer.

Bearded dragons have a nictitating membrane, which are thick eyelids that help to protect their eyes from heat and light. However, this special membrane will most likely close when basking too long in direct sunlight as it can cause eye damage if left open for prolonged periods.

You may also notice your bearded dragon blinking more often than usual with basking or taking breaks while basking because the sun is so bright.

  • It is a defense mechanism to protect the eyes from
  • Basking in direct sunlight because it can hurt their retinas.
  • They are also blinking, so they don’t get dried out by all the heat and light.

If the sun is too bright, there’s no reason to worry about when your bearded dragon closes one eye, as basking too much can cause damage. When the dragon enters a shaded area, it will stop closing its eyes and everything will return to normal.

Blind bearded dragon

Bearded dragons can be blind, but that is not why your reptile is closing one eye. Likewise, the lizard can be born blind, but the most common reason for blindness is some type of infection or injury to one eye.

The blind bearded dragon’s eyesight may also be impaired, so it can’t see in front of them very well. So if the lizard closes their good eye and lets its blind side lead the way, it will end up with poor depth perception.

Generally, bearded dragons are not born blind but might become blind due to an infection/injury affecting the lizard’s sight (hence why your pet closes one eye).

Therefore, if you think the lizard is closing one eye because of blindness, let a reptile vet examine the bearded dragon and recommend proper care practices to protect it from injuries and predators.

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