Why Is My Bearded Dragon Eye Stuck Shut?

why is my bearded dragon eye stuck shut

In this article, we will discuss several reasons why your bearded dragon keeps its eyes shut. While there is no need to worry for some reasons, there are a few reasons that should require a vet’s attention. 

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Eye Stuck Shut?

If your bearded dragon has kept its eye closed you don’t need to worry. It’s common behavior, and it may show when it feels dehydrated, has difficulty while shedding, there is inappropriate lighting, or if it feels discomfort when you hold it. There is also a possibility that it might have its eyes injured or has been attacked by parasites.  

close up of a bearded dragons eye

Top 7 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Eye is Stuck Shut

  1. Dehydration

Dehydration is the first reason that you should think of if your pet has kept his eye shut for a long time. Just like humans who need water to be active and in their normal state, your beardie also needs water to be active and be themselves.  

Your beardie needs to consume water somewhere in the range of 0.7% – 2.7% of its body mass every day. If this requirement is not met, your pet gets lethargic and shuts its eyes.  

With fresh water in their tank, you should provide them with watery fruits and give them a nice bath at least twice a week.

  1. Their Cornea Might Be Damaged

Another very popular and common reason for your pet’s eyes being shut for a long time is the possibility of their eyes being damaged due to various reasons. 

The first reason can be that they might have hit themselves or banged themselves into a sharp object in their captivity or in the garden or your house when they are playing with you or exercising. 

Another reason for their eyes getting damaged is that they might have been attacked by another beardie or some predator. Your beardies are most loved by their predators and that is why they run around a lot when they are out of their captivity. 

So, they might hurt their eyes if they are hunted by their predator but manage to escape them somehow. 

There are many other reasons like sand particles getting into their eyes, you cleaning their eyes with tap water and not sterilized water, etc. which can hurt your beardies as they are very sensitive. 

  1. Bright Lightning 

When you put lights in your pet’s tank or captivity you should be very careful with their intensity and the place you are fixing it along with the type of light you are planning to put on. 

Your pet will be facing a lot of problems in keeping its eyes open if the light is too bright. 

You should avoid putting lights that are suitable for the survival of plants and are not suitable to be fixed in your beardies captivity as they don’t scatter the UVB lights evenly in captivity. Along with the appropriate lighting, you should also have a timer fixed to shut this light for some time every day. You can follow a 12-hour on and 12-hour off cycle.

  1. Problem With The Shedding

Your beardie may shed once a year or twice a year depending on the skin that has become old. When your pet is shedding they usually do it by rubbing its body against anything solid in its captivity. 

While doing so they always keep their eyes close especially when they are shedding old skin around their eyes.  

So, if you see your pet has its eyes shut, you should inspect it well and see if any skin is stuck to its body. 

You should help them shed that part of the skin by soaking that part in the water and wiping it off with a soft cloth. You should be quick in judging if your beardie is facing any problem in shedding as they may be in a lot of pain due to the difficulty they are facing. 

  1. Parasitic Infections 

Parasitic infections are very common. If your pet’s captivity is unhygienic or you have provided them with food that carries parasites with it, then your bearded dragons are in danger of being attacked by these parasites. There are many parasites like mites, etc which attack them.

If the mites or any other parasite have access to your beardie they directly attack and aim for soft tissues in its body. 

The area around your beardies’ eyes is very sensitive. If parasites bite there, then it might swell up so much that your pet could face problems even opening their eyes.  

You should, therefore, keep sanitizing the enclosure frequently.

  1. Basking

Your beardie needs to get out of its enclosure or captivity and run around and exercise a lot in the open area or a garden of yours. 

While doing so, your pet will be soaking in some sunlight or taking a bath in the sun, as it is very refreshing for it.

However, its eyes are very sensitive and might not be able to hold the sunlight and the rays coming from the sun. So, your bearded dragon may close its eyes when it’s out in the sun basking. 

You may also notice that it has kept his mouth open too while basking.

  1. Might Be Trying To Oppose Petting or Being Held By You

You are right if you feel like picking up your small bearded dragon sometimes out of love and care and petting it or holding it like you would if you had a pet dog or a cat. But if you have a beardie you should know that they don’t like being held by you. They like to be free both in their captivity and out of their captivity.

So your pet might express its unlikeliness by closing its eyes whenever you are trying to hold it or pet it. 

You may also think that they are closing their eyes as a sign of relaxation but that’s a complete misconception. They get stressed and feel frightened when you hold them and due to discomfort, they shut their eyes. 

a bearded dragon facing the camera

Why Do Bearded Dragons Shut Only One Eye?

All the reasons mentioned above are applicable only if your bearded dragon has kept both of his eyes closed. But there is also another very common situation where you might see that your pet has kept only one of his eyes closed. It has only one reason for it i.e., aiming for the prey.  

You might notice that when your beardie is trying to hunt for an insect or finding or aiming at prey, it may keep one of its eyes shut to aim better and increase its focus.  

However, if you notice that your pet has continuously kept one eye closed then there can be a different reason for it.  

  • Then you can check for the old skin near that one eye that is closed. Your beardie might be facing an issue to shed that part and due to this, it might have kept its eyes closed.


Now you know various reasons like dehydration, parasitic infections, discomfort due to being held by you, basking, inappropriate lighting, the problem with shedding, etc. 

For most of the reasons, you don’t have to take them to the vet as they can be solved by taking small measures by you. But in situations of cornea damage, you have to take it to a vet to get proper medicines and creams to cure the damage completely. 

Otherwise, it’s very normal for your bearded dragon to keep their eyes shut. You can also see them shutting one eye to focus better while they are preying or hunting.

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