Bearded Dragon Eye Diseases

Updated February 28, 2017

Bearded dragons are commonly kept as pets because of their docile, nonaggressive and social nature. Getting to know your pet's behaviour is important, as any abnormal behaviour may indicate illness or health problems. Checking the physical appearance, as well as eating and bowel habits, of your bearded dragon will help you catch any changes in its well being, including indicators of eye problems.

Inflammation and Irritation

Sand can irritate the bearded dragon's eyes and nictitating membrane, also known as the third eyelid. This inflammation and irritation is a fairly common problem. Flush the eye with large amounts of saline to wash away the irritant. Eye drops are often prescribed by a veterinarian to reduce the swelling, get rid of any infection or to treat a laceration if the sand has scratched the cornea. Rechecking for persistent symptoms is recommended within a week of administering the drops or saline solution. Replacing the sand in the enclosure with a spongy surface, reptile carpet or newspaper lowers the occurrence if this kind of eye problem. Avoid feeding your bearded dragon in a sandy environment.


Photokeratoconjunctivitisis occurs when the cornea and membranes of the eye get irritated and is evident if your bearded dragon's eyelids swell and close up. Changes in behaviour such as lethargy or appearing depressed are also indicators of this condition. This situation often occurs when you change the lamp inside its habitat or if the reptile sits too close to the light source. If this is the case, removal of that specific light source or changing the light bulb can alleviate this condition.


Blepharospasm is an involuntary eye tic or blinking that some bearded dragons experience. There are several causes for this condition, but dry eyes, infection, and sand or other foreign objects that come into contact with the eye are the most prevalent in these reptiles. Flushing the area with saline solution alleviates the symptoms if there is no laceration caused by the sand or foreign object. If there is a laceration, ointment is prescribed to rectify this condition and get rid of any infection or inflammation that results.

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