Why does my bearded dragon close one eye?

Sometimes you notice that dragons close their eyes, but why do they do this?

Is there any reason behind this?

In this article, we will discuss all the reasons behind this and ways to prevent, and treat the issues related to their eyes.

Main reason why my dragon close one eye

Yes, usually there are 8 main reasons behind this...

  • Damage or Objects in the Eye
  • Dehydration
  • Basking
  • Improper Lighting
  • Low Humidity
  • Stuck Shed
  • Scared
  • Parasites

Damage or Objects in the Eye

If your dragon has something that affects their eyes, and they may close their eyes. In this case, the dragon could injure their eye with sharp objects such as branches and decorations. You may also notice your bearded dragon trying to remove it by bulging its eye out. Sometimes, they can’t remove the foreign object from their eyes themselves and will require your intervention

Tap water may not be completely sterile and may lead to an infection. Instead, use Rep ta Rinse Reptile Eye Rinse, which can be found on Amazon. This eye solution is formulated to help remove foreign objects from their eyes safely.


If your dragon is suffering from dehydration, it may close one of its eyes in response to it. If you suspect them of being dehydrated, you’ll need to correct the issue as soon as possible or it could lead to serious health issues.

A dehydrated beardie will depict sunken eyes and lethargy due to fewer fluids in the eyes. If you suspect dehydration, try pinching the skin. It’s hydrated if the skin bounces back and dehydrated if it takes longer to bounce back


Lie exposed to warmth and light, typically from the sun, for relaxation and pleasure, Breaded dragoon bodies cannot control and tune to desirable temperatures independently. You may notice your dragon closing one or both eyes when basking, and this is normal behavior for them. It does this to shield its eyes from strong direct sunlight.

The key to keeping bearded dragons happy is to have a basking spotlight that allows them to raise their body temperature to 95 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When a bearded dragon reaches its thermal maximum, it will often sit with its mouth open.

Bearded dragon basking behavior

Basking in Bearded dragons is an instinctive behavior, seen as the need to spend much time in warm/lit areas. During basking, a Bearded dragon is inactive. They might be alert or might be taking a nap, some will show waving behavior. Bearded dragons will often climb to higher areas in order to get more exposure. When they climb and sit on top of each other, it is also believed to be part of this behavior.

Improper Lighting

Bearded dragons may close their eyes in response to incorrect lighting within their enclosure, your bearded dragon might respond by closing one eye or both eyes.

 Bearded dragons need a strong source of UVB light (UVB 10.0- 12.0). This lighting is often called T5 lighting and may also be called HO- High Output. The best choice is to install tube lighting that will go across the tank.

Proper lighting and humidity are crucial for the health and well-being of your bearded dragon, if this is something that has caught your attention, it might be a good idea to take a look at their lighting.

If you suspect the lighting as the culprit, try turning their light off for a day or two and see if that helps their eyes, if not, check their humidity levels. The ideal humidity level for a bearded dragon’s habitat is around 30 to 40%

Some manufacturers sell lights that are not correct for the bearded dragon’s enclosure. While they may be within the correct UVB range, they could be too strong for a small cage or not strong enough for a large cage.

Therefore, it’s best to check with the manufacturers for the correct sized cage. When it comes to the type of lighting, you will have the option of tube lighting or coiled bulb lighting.

Low Humidity

Low humidity is also a reason why your bearded dragon may close one of its eyes. If the humidity levels are too low, this may also contribute to the closing of one eye.

The ideal humidity for a bearded dragon tank is in the range of 30-40%

Low humidity could cause dysecdysis (abnormal shedding of the skin). Due to shedding, the bearded dragons will close their eyes as well to help shed the old skin. On the other hand, high humidity will cause blistering of the skin on the bearded dragon. Blistering can be very painful for them and you may need to seek medical attention.

Just be aware that too much humidity can be a big issue too. With increased moisture comes a higher risk of bacterial infections and respiratory diseases. If you are taking measures to increase humidity, you should monitor it closely so as not to overshoot it.

Probably the easiest and best way to reduce humidity is to increase ventilation to the enclosure.

Stuck Shed

If your bearded dragon is leaving one eye closed, and they have been going through a shed, check carefully to see if there is any remaining shed around the circumference of the eye.

Bearded dragons will try to look for an object to rub against to remove their old skin. When they are done shedding, some parts of their body will still have the old skin attached. The eyes are usually the most difficult part of their body to shed. If there are still old skin around the eye area, the lizard may close their eyes to try to shed the old skin off.

You can lend them a hand by using a cotton pad that has been soaked in warm water. Once the pad is thoroughly soaked and is at a nice, warm temperature, place the pad on the affected eye and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

It is important to keep anything sharp out of their enclosure, as it can cause damage to their eyes, which brings us to our next reason for keeping one eye closed and one eye open

Age Frequency of Shedding
Hatchlings (0-6 months)Every 1-2 weeks
Juveniles (6-12 months)Twice a month
Adults (12-18 months)About 4 times a year
Adults (18+ months) Twice a year 


Sometimes, when you pet your  dragon, they may close their eyes

Like humans, when something gets scared too close to our eyes, we will close them. The same goes for bearded dragons.

As you pet them close to their eyes, they are scared your hand or fingers might hurt their eyes. As a natural defense to protect their eyes from being harmed, they will close it. They may close one eye or both eyes.


Bearded dragons are also known to have a low amount of parasites residing inside them, but if these parasites reach an unmanageable level, medical intervention will be needed. It is a good idea to seek professional help if you suspect mites or parasites as the cause for your bearded dragon’s strange behavior. Bearded dragons have a third eye-like structure located on the top of their head between the eyes. It is called a parietal eye, and it allows them to observe shadows and light changes.

If your bearded dragon contracted mites or ticks, you may notice them acting unusual especially with their eyes.

Mites and ticks found in captivity are small, red, or black dots. They will usually stay around the ears and eyes of the bearded dragons. If the parasites are around the eye area, the lizard will close their eye.

Your local herp vet will be able to discuss with you the proper treatment plan and get your bearded dragon back in top shape and feeling much more like themselves.

To read about:

Breaded dragon third eyes click here.

Breaded dragon eyes bulging click here

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