Bearded dragons have a variety of behaviors that you should get familiar with if you own one. Some of them are pretty normal while others signal health issues.
Bearded dragon closing one eye while basking, is it normal?
Yes, it is normal. Bearded dragons sometimes do close one eye while basking. If it is infrequent, there is nothing to worry about. Usually it means that they are relaxing.
However, there are times when closing one or both eyes frequently is not healthy at all especially when you see mucus in bearded dragons’ eyes. You should concern about it.
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Common Causes Why Bearded Dragons Close One Eye
There are reasons why bearded dragons close one eye. It may include the following:
- Inappropriate Lighting
- Parasites or Mites
- Trapped Foreign Object
- Inappropriate Humidity
Everything boils to the care your bearded dragons receive. If they don’t get what they need usually leads to a problematic situation.
Let’s talk about each of the problems mentioned above.
1. Inappropriate Lighting
The frequent eye closing of bearded dragons may be caused by inappropriate lighting. The common problem is a bad bulb. Frequent eye closing is called photo-kerato-conjunctivitis.
This happens when the bottom area of the eye turned whiter than normal. It looks like a mild burn in the sensitive eyelid of the bearded dragon.
This condition is painful making beardies shut their eyes frequently. They feel like there are grains of sand in their eyes so they keep closing their eyes in the hope of getting rid of the condition.
This happens when you use a bad bulb for your reptile pets. If that is the cause of the problem, then you need to ditch the lighting equipment you’re using.
What I recommend is the Reptisun 10.0 line tube for UVB (check it on Amazon). I use this lighting for my bearded dragons and it does well in maintaining warm in the enclosure.
Although bearded dragons need a warm basking area, it does not mean that you closely expose them to the lighting equipment. Keep the light in an appropriate distance from the pets.
2. Parasites or Mites
Parasites or mites can also be the cause of why a bearded dragon is closing one eye while basking. These tiny little intruders can change the behavior of your beardies inside their basking area.
In the wild, parasites are not an issue. However, when beardies are in their enclosure, even live insects can become a threat to them.
The problem is that parasites are too small to notice especially if you are not paying special attention to them.
Mites are easier to detect. But dealing with other parasites can be more challenging and difficult.
If you believe that your beardies have tiny parasites, help from a vet can be the best option. Reptile vets have all the equipment needed for identifying possible parasites in your bearded dragons.
Not only that, but vets could also give your beardies appropriate necessary interventions to the problem.
Another potential cause of why the bearded dragon is closing one eye while basking is dehydration. Ensuring that your beardies get enough water is very important not only in keeping their bowel movement healthy but also in their eyes.
When a bearded dragon is dehydrated, you’ll notice that its eyes gradually become dip. Sunken eyes are the result of dehydration.
Bearded dragons also become lethargic if they don’t get enough water. This issue may be the result of a lack of water. Sometimes, bearded dragons don’t just drink enough water from a deep bowl.
My bearded dragons have the same issue too. They don’t drink water from a stagnant water source. But they drink from a moving water source such as fountain or water dispenser (click here to view water dispenser for reptiles on Amazon).
Shedding is a normal occurrence you see in your bearded dragons. But this could also be the reason why a bearded dragon closes its one eye while basking. If you suspect such, you can examine quite quickly around the eyes of your beardies.
If you see those remaining shed, take it away by using a cotton pad soak in warm water. Place the cotton around the eye for a couple of minutes to soften the shed a little bit before removing it.
If you don’t remove the remaining shed, it will cause other issues other than closing one eye. In most cases, bearded dragons tend to rub their bodies against the corners to remove the shed.
If this happens, make sure that there are no sharp corners or objects inside the enclosure to keep the bearded dragons safe.
5. Trapped Foreign Object
Apart from bad bulbs, foreign objects could also cause frequent closing one eye while basking in bearded dragons. This usually happens when a loose substrate or sand stuck in their eyes. The sign that your beardies have foreign objects in their eyes is when they try to bulge their eyes. This is their way of removing stuck objects in their eyes.
You can use reptile drops to remove those objects. Some drops contain antibacterial properties that could also treat infection.
I don’t recommend washing your bearded dragons with tap water. It is not safe from bacteria. You can use saline eyewash instead. If problems persist, consult your bearded dragon with a veterinary.
To prevent this problem from happening again, make sure that you clean the tank and remove those loose substrates.
To keep your beardies safe, use newspaper or reptile carpet (Click here to check this carpet on Amazon).
This will help keep the tank clean and organize.
6. Inappropriate Humidity
Inappropriate humidity could also the cause why your bearded dragon closes its one eye while basking. It usually happens when the humidity in the enclosure is too low.
The recommended humidity range is 30-40%. Getting the correct level of humidity can be challenging sometimes. The placement of the hygrometer alone can affect the humidity level you get.
This is because humidity is affected by the temperature in the enclosure. As the temperature increases, it is important to figure out the area between the warm and cool areas. The boundary basically is the perfect place to measure using the hygrometer to get a more accurate result.
It is also important to measure humidity during the day.
How to Increase Humidity?
If humidity is the problem, there are simple and effective ways you can implement to increase humidity. Below are a few of the simple techniques you can do:
- Put an additional water dish near the warmer areas of the enclosure. Replacing the water daily may also help maintain the humidity. Finally, it also keeps the water clean.
- Add more plants especially those that have broad leaves near the enclosure. Plants of this type can enhance or maintain the humidity level of the place. Just make sure that the plants are not harmful for bearded dragons.
- If the previous two techniques did not work, use a reptile fogger (Click here to view this item on Amazon). This adjustable reptile fog machine is the better option if you want a quick remedy. This machine offers a number of functionality that your bearded dragons may need.
Although humidity is important, too much of it can cause a problem too. Just like anything in life, too much is not good. For bearded dragons, high humidity can increase bacterial production. If not treated, it can cause infections and respiratory issues in bearded dragons.
So make sure that the humidity level is in the right level.
Final Thoughts on Why Bearded Dragon Closing One Eye While Basking
Eye closing in bearded dragons while basking is pretty normal. You don’t have to worry about it.
However, in some instances though, frequent eye closing may be indicative of problems. There are many factors that may contribute to this behavior.
The first one is an inappropriate light source. If the bearded dragon is exposed to a bad bulb. Make sure that you use the best and appropriate light bulb for your beardies. You can use the recommended lighting in this post.
The second cause of the problem can be parasites or mites. These tiny creatures can hurt beardies. So make sure that you take some time to examine your bearded dragons’ skin periodically.
Third, could be dehydration. Dehydration can be the reason why your bearded dragon is closing its one eye while basking. So provide enough amount of water. If your beardy does not drink water from a bowl, you can use a water dispenser for reptiles.
Fourth is shedding. The remaining shed around the eye can be another reason of eye closing. You can remove it by using a warm wet cotton pad.
Fifth, the trapped foreign object in the eye can also be the reason behind eye closing. Sand or loose substrate is often the cause. To prevent it from happening again, use a newspaper or reptile carpet.
Lastly, inappropriate humidity. Keep the humidity level appropriate for a bearded dragon.
If you are not sure what you’re doing, seek advice from a veterinarian especially if you are new to caring for bearded dragons.
Learn more about bearded dragon here.