Stration of five bearded dragons with one eye closed, each with a unique activity and facial expression to showcase the reasons why they may be closing their eye

5 Most Common Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Close One Eye

Bearded dragons, or Pogona Vitticeps, are a species of lizards native to Australia. These reptiles have become popular among reptile enthusiasts due to their docile nature.

Many owners have reported that their bearded dragon will often close one eye for long periods of time. This behavior is concerning and causes many people to seek out an explanation for it.

This article explores five of the most common reasons why bearded dragons close one eye: anatomical imbalance, stress and anxiety, injury and illness, environmental factors, and behavioral habits.

Key Takeaways

  • Anatomical imbalance and health factors can contribute to bearded dragons closing one eye, such as uneven head shape, misalignment, physical deformity, poor health, and infections.
  • Stress and fear response can also cause bearded dragons to close one eye, as it reduces stimuli from the environment and is a fear response to perceived threats.
  • Injury and trauma can limit vision and require eye closure for protection, leading to altered behavior.
  • Environmental factors, such as light sensitivity, temperature changes, unstable temperatures, and illumination changes, can influence eye closure in bearded dragons.

Anatomical Imbalance

Anatomical imbalance can be a cause of one eye closure in bearded dragons. This can occur if the dragon has an uneven head shape, such as where one side is raised higher than the other. This misalignment can cause sight problems and lead to eye strain in the dragon’s vision. The result is that one eye may remain closed more often or for longer periods of time than the other.

In addition to this physical deformity being a factor, some bearded dragons may also close one eye due to poor health and stress.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety may cause a bearded dragon to close one eye. They may exhibit nervous habits such as:

  • Eye-closing:

  • To reduce stimuli from the environment.

  • As a fear response to a perceived threat.

  • Body positioning:

  • Stretching their limbs out when feeling threatened.

  • Tucking their head into their body for protection.

  • Tail twitching:

  • A sign of agitation or distress, mainly due to fear.

Injury and Illness

Injuries and illnesses can lead to physical changes in bearded dragons, such as altered behavior. One common change seen is that the dragon may close one eye. This could be due to a variety of pathological conditions or visual impairments, from infections to trauma.

Infections can cause swelling in the eye area that make it painful for the dragon to keep both eyes open. Trauma may also cause enough damage to limit vision and require closing one eye for protection until healing takes place.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can influence the behavior of a dragon. Two common factors that may cause a beardie to close one eye are light sensitivity and changes in temperature. Light sensitivity can be caused by too much light exposure or uneven lighting levels. Changes in temperature can be due to incorrect thermostat settings or unstable temperatures in the habitat.

Behavioral Habits

Behavioral habits of dragons can be affected by various environmental factors. Illuminations changes, temperature fluctuation, and other adaptations to their surroundings can cause them to close one eye as a way of adjusting to the environment. This behavior is usually seen when they are exposed to too much light or stressors in their environment.

Bearded dragons may also close one eye out of fear or in response to an unfamiliar object. In all cases, it is important that their environment remains stable and comfortable for them so that they do not feel scared or overwhelmed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Temperature Range for Bearded Dragons?

The optimal temperature range for bearded dragons is between 75-85°F, with a basking spot of up to 95°F. This should be maintained in an appropriate sized enclosure, supplemented by UV lighting for proper health and development.

What Type of Habitat Is Best for Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons require a habitat that is composed of appropriate substrate selection, humidity levels, and temperatures. Appropriate humidity levels should range from 30-50%, while temperatures should be between 78-88°F. Substrate selection for bearded dragons should be non-toxic to reptiles and easy to clean.

What Kind of Diet Should Be Given to Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons require a varied diet to remain healthy, consisting of insects (foraging habits) such as crickets, mealworms and waxworms, plus leafy greens and vegetables. Vitamin supplementation may be necessary in some cases. It’s important to provide them with the right amount of nutrition for their individual needs.

What Type of Lighting Do Bearded Dragons Need?

Bearded dragons require specialized lighting for their health and wellbeing. Setting up the right type of lighting is important to mimic their natural environment. It should be UVB with a temperature gradient, providing both basking and cooler areas in the enclosure. Lighting requirements vary depending on age and species, so research should be done beforehand.

How Often Should Bearded Dragons Be Bathed?

Bearded dragons should be bathed about once a week to help facilitate skin shedding and ensure optimal hygiene. This frequency can vary depending on the individual dragon’s needs, but regular bathing is important for good health.


Bearded dragons closing one eye is a behavior that can be influenced by a variety of factors. Anatomical imbalances, stress and anxiety, injury or illness, environmental conditions, and behavioral habits can all cause the dragon to close one eye.

It is important to recognize this behavior so that any underlying issues can be addressed quickly and appropriately. Appropriate husbandry practices should be employed in order to provide the optimum environment for the bearded dragon’s health and wellbeing.

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are also recommended to ensure that any medical concerns are managed as promptly as possible.

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