Bearded dragons have some fascinating behaviours and one of the most unusual of these behaviours is when they bulge out their eyes.
If you see your bearded dragons bulging out their eyes, it can leave you scratching your head as it often appears to be for no apparent reason.
In this post, we will take a close look at the possible reasons why your bearded dragon could be eye bulging and if it’s something to worry about?
So, why do bearded dragons bulge out their eyes? Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly why bearded dragons bulge out their eyes, however, they predict that there could be 3 possible reasons for this behaviour. These reasons include helping with the shedding process, high blood pressure and to relieve itching eyes.
Read On to Find Out…
Why Do Bearded Dragons Bulge Out Their Eyes? (A Closer Look)
Bearded dragons are known for their intriguing behaviours and those behaviours make them one of the most fascinating pets on planet Earth!
One of the most unusual and less documented of these behaviours is eye bulging.
If you notice your beardie pop out their eyes for what seems to be no reason at all, it can be worrying and baffling at the same time.
The truth is, nobody knows for sure why bearded dragons display this behaviour and scientists and experts are still trying to decode its true meaning.
With this being said, there are now 3 reasons that experts believe could possibly be the answer to why beardies eye bulge.
The 3 reasons that experts believe bearded dragons eye bulge ere:
- Helping the shedding process
- High blood pressure
- Itching eyes
Now, let’s take a look at each of these reasons in more detail…
1. Helping The Shedding Process
Many experts think that the main reason that bearded dragons bulge out their eyes is to help them shed skin around their eyes and head.
Bearded dragons can struggle to shed their skin as they shed in patches, unlike snakes that shed in one piece.
This can mean that the shedding process can become difficult with stubborn areas of shed often left around the tail, toes and sometimes face.
In fact, bearded dragons can itch and feel extremely uncomfortable when shedding.
We have written an easy to follow guide that shares if you should actually handle your bearded dragon when they are shedding?
This is why experts believe that beardies may have the ability to bulge out their eyes in order to loosen stubborn shed in this troublesome area.
Many bearded dragon owners often report their beardies eyes bulging during the shedding process, which would back up this theory, however, many owners also state that the eye bulging sometimes continues for a short while after shedding has been completed.
This could just be the bearded dragon ensuring that all the skin has been shed, the truth is nobody as yet knows completely why this happens.
As so many beardies do eye bulge during shedding though, it is a very plausible theory and one that may get proven to be true in the near future.
In our easy to follow guide, you can find out everything you need to know about how bearded dragons shed and how you can help as an owner…
2. High Blood Pressure
Another theory that is currently being explored is the possibility that eye bulging is a factor in high blood pressure or decreasing blood pressure purposely.
Other reptiles such as a ‘horned lizard’ actually have the ability to increase their blood pressure around and behind the eyes.
Some scientists now believe that bearded dragons could possibly have the same ability as the horned lizard and could be deliberately decreasing their blood pressure.
Again, at this point, there is no concrete evidence of this but as other lizards have been proven to have this ability then it does make logical sense that beardies could possibly eye bulge for this reason too.
If you notice your bearded dragon eye bulging for long periods of time, for example over 1 hour at a time or for 2-3 days continually (when not shedding) then it might be a good idea to take them to the vets for a check-up.
Most eye bulging is seen as harmless, however, sometimes it’s worth getting your beardie checked over if the behaviour continues for a long period.
3. Itching Eyes
The third theory is that bearded dragons bulge out their eyes in order to satisfy an itch around the eyes.
Beardies can flood the area behind their eyes in blood, which in turn, could possibly satisfy any itching that has occurred.
It’s hard to really make a strong point for this theory and there really isn’t any hard evidence to back it up.
Even though eye bulging to satisfy an itch is possible, my personal feelings are that it’s less likely than the 2 previously theories mentioned.
Having said this, bearded dragons are known to get itchy especially when shedding.
You can find out why this happens and how you can help your bearded dragon to stop itching when shedding here…
What Does It Look Like When Bearded Dragons Bulge Their Eyes?
If your bearded dragon has bulged out their eyes then you probably won’t forget what it looks like in a hurry!
However, we recommend that you take a look at this video of a beardie bulging out their eyes so that you can be sure that what you are seeing from your bearded dragon is actually ‘eye bulging’ and not something else such as an eye infection.
Check out the video of a bearded dragon eye bulging below…
Why Do Baby Bearded Dragons Bulge Their Eyes?
If you have just brought home a baby bearded dragon you might still be getting used to their personality and behaviours.
You might not, however, be used to seeing your baby bearded dragon bulge their eyes.
This behaviour can freak out new owners and even experienced owners if they aren’t used to seeing this behaviour.
So why do baby bearded dragons bulge their eyes? Baby bearded dragons are thought to bulge out their eyes for the same reasons as adults. These reasons are helping with the shedding process, increasing blood pressure and satisfying an itch behind their eyes. These are all theories as scientists are still trying to fully understand this behaviour.
If you notice your baby bearded dragon bulging their eyes, don’t panic as this is usually nothing to worry about.
If your baby beardie is shedding then they could possibly be trying to loosen the stubborn shed around their eyes.
This is normal behaviour and certainly nothing you need to worry about.
There is also the possibility that your baby dragon could be purposely increasing their blood pressure but this is hard to find evidence for.
As we mentioned earlier, if your baby bearded dragon is eye bulging for more than 1 hour or for many days consistently (when they’re not shedding), then it could be worth getting them to the vets for a check-up.
Again, this is probably nothing to worry about but if the behaviour is continuing for a long time then it’s better to let a vet check them over.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Bulge One Eye?
You might think it’s weird enough to see your bearded dragon bulging out both their eyes but what if you see them bulging out just one of their eyes?
Beardies do actually have the ability to do bulge out just one eye and it’s more common then you may think.
So, why do bearded dragons bulge one eye? Bearded dragons bulge one eye for the same reasons that scientists think they bulge both their eyes. Those reasons are increasing blood pressure, helping with the shedding process and itching their eyes. Little is still known about eye bulging and scientists are still trying to determine the true reasons behind this behaviour.
As we have mentioned many times in this post already, scientists know very little about the exact reasons why beardies eye bulge.
What we can tell though is that many bearded dragons owners report that their beardies bulge their eyes when shedding.
This means that the most logical and common reason for eye bulging would point towards helping with the shedding process.
This doesn’t mean that it’s the only reason why beardies bulge their eyes but it’s by far the most common time that eye bulging is reported by owners.
Do All Bearded Dragons Bulge Out Their Eyes?
While all bearded dragons seem to have the ability to bulge out their eyes, not all of them choose to do so.
Additionally, some beardies that do bulge out their eyes, do so frequently, while others only appear to display this behaviour once in a while.
You may own a beardie for many years and never notice them displaying this behaviour at all.
As the true meaning behind eye bulging is still a mystery, it’s difficult to know why some bearded dragons eye bulge and others don’t.
Recommended Reading: Have you ever wondered how long bearded dragons live? We have done the research and the answer just might surprise you! Find Out How Long Bearded Dragons Really Live Here…
How Long Do Bearded Dragons Bulge Their Eyes For?
If you notice your bearded dragon bulging their eyes, it will usually only be for a few seconds or a couple of minutes at most.
You may notice your beardie repeating this behaviour on and off over a number of hours and even days.
This will usually be when they are shedding as eye bulging is thought to help with the process and loosen tight skin around the eyes.
You may also notice your bearded dragon bulging their eyes for long periods even when they aren’t shedding.
Let’s now find out if this is healthy or unhealthy for your bearded dragon…
Is It Unhealthy For My Bearded Dragon to Bulge Out Their Eyes?
For the most part, eye bulging isn’t regarded as a cause for concern and your bearded dragon should be fine.
As we have mentioned many times throughout this post, the fact that scientists and experts don’t yet fully understand why beardies display this behaviour makes it difficult to say sometimes it can be a sign that something’s wrong with their health.
The data we have from 100’s of reports of owners is that when bearded dragons eye bulge when shedding there’s seems to be no problems with their health and this behaviour is deemed as harmless.
If you notice your bearded dragon bulging their eyes for long periods when no shedding is present then it could possibly be due to increasing their blood pressure (although it isn’t yet proven)
If you notice your bearded dragon eye bulging for more than one hour or for 2-3 days continually when they aren’t shedding then it could be a good idea to seek the advice from a vet.
There is probably nothing wrong but it’s still probably the best course of action to get them checked over.
If however, you only notice the eye bulging every now and then, no course of action is probably needed.
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