Leopard Gecko Eyes Closed – 7 Reasons Why

So you recently spotted your leopard gecko with its eyes closed, almost meditatively, and you are wondering if your Leo is in its right mind. Worry not, we are going to resolve your queries in this one!

Apparently, Leos do a lot of weird things, but not without a reason. If you find your gecko with its eyes closed, there can be a variety of reasons behind this. 

Most commonly, leopard geckos close their eyes if they are irritated due to exposure to irritants like bright light, dust, peat moss, sand particles, and even a scale that got stuck in the eyelids while shedding.

In most cases, it is not a thing to worry about as closing their eyes is a natural coping mechanism for geckos. Sometimes, they open one eye while sleeping just to check if everything’s alright in their surroundings. 

But in some cases, it can call for a vet inspection. It is best to seek a vet’s advice if your gecko’s eye is closed for over a day. Here are some reasons.

Leopard Gecko Eyes Closed: Possible Reasons 

Leopard Gecko’s Eyes Closed: Possible Reasons 

Reason #1 – Substrate or Debris 

Leopard Geckos are habitual of spending a lot of time on the ground as they are naturally ground-dwelling in nature. Because of this, it is not uncommon if they have something stuck in their eyes. 

Often they will have dust, grain particles, mulch substance, grit, etc. stuck in their eyes, resulting in irritation and watery eyes. 

When this happens, your gecko will shut its eyes so as to naturally lubricate it and get rid of the foreign material.

Reason #2 – Eye Trauma 

Eye Trauma 

Eye trauma is associated with eye injuries that can result due to playing. Sometimes your gecko can get a bruise or a scratch on the eye. And this can make it squint! 

Even in its tank, the gecko finds a hundred ways to keep itself entertained. And therefore, an occasional eye injury is unavoidable. 

When this happens, you must assess the situation like a pro parent and figure out if the gecko really needs to be taken to a vet or not. 

If the injury is mild, it will heal on its own. But if the gecko has its eyes shut for more than a few days, it is time you get it inspected! 

Reason #3 – Stuck Scale 

If you don’t know already, your gecko has eyelids, unlike many other lizard species. And therefore, it sheds the skin on the lids and also around them. 

Sometimes, the scale can get stuck in the eyelids during the process of shedding. When this happens, you can increase the humidity in the tank so that the moisture can make Leo’s eyes well-lubricated. This will help the gecko to clear its eyes on its own. 

Otherwise, you can use a warm water compress and gently dab the eyes of the gecko to make the scale move. This can eventually help your pet to get rid of any foreign particles that might be lingering in there. 

Reason #4 – Bright Light 

Another common cause why your gecko closes its eyes is because it might be having an over-exposure to bright lights. 

Leopard Geckos are nocturnal creatures, and therefore their eyes are more light-sensitive. They can actually see 350 times better than humans in dark as well. They tend to keep their eyes shut if the light is getting a bit too much for them. So, they tend to constrict their pupils as a result. 

Too much light for geckos disturbs their circadian rhythm. To prevent this from happening, you can use heating setups that barely emit light and also do the job of heating your gecko well! 

Reason #5 – Eye Infections 

Eye Infections 

Leopard geckos can experience viral, fungal, and bacterial infections in the eye that can easily penetrate their cornea or pupil. 

This can result in inflammation or shrinkage. When this happens, your gecko’s eyes might turn red, watery, and swollen. Due to irritation, Leo can end up shutting its eyes. 

But if it is a case of an eye infection, there will be a few simultaneous developments taking place in or around the eyes, that will help you figure out what might be wrong with your pet. 

In case of eye infections, your gecko will be prescribed antifungal, or antibacterial treatment to help the eyes heal faster. Because, if the eye infection is left untreated, it can cause significant damage to the eye. 

Reason #6 – Abscess

An abscess is a small bump forming under the eye of a gecko that can cause a lot of irritation. 

This can occur because of some trauma or eye injury. Sometimes, even an eye infection can result in abscesses if the eye is left untreated for a long. 

When abscesses happen, your gecko can end up shutting its eyes because of the irritation. In this case, you should seek vet care.

Why Your Leopard Gecko is Sleeping With One Eye Open 

Sleeping With One Eye Open 

Your gecko is actually a pretty smart creature. Even while sleeping, geckos remain alert.  Any unusual noise or disturbance, will make them open one of their eyes and have a long stare

If you catch your gecko sleeping and it suddenly opens one of its eyes, yes, it can totally creep you out! But it is just their way of keeping an eye on their surroundings. 

And why just one eye, you ask? That’s because, if they can just open one eye, then why open two!? 

It is just their way of guarding themselves in an easy, convenient manner.

Editor’s Note
The eyes of reptiles, especially lizards, are naturally designed in a way that they can easily open just one instead of both, unlike us humans and in fact, most animals. You can call this one of the specialties of reptiles. 

How to Prevent Eye Problems in Leopard Geckos

How to Prevent Eye Problems in Geckos

There are many ways you can keep your gecko’s eyes healthy. Just a few measures will keep your gecko’s eye safe from untimely vet visits. Here are certain things you can do:

  • Regularly clean your gecko’s tank and make sure it is free of unwanted, pointed particles that might be harmful to the eyes. Keep the tank grit-free. 
  • If you have installed rocks in the gecko’s tank, make sure they are smooth and round, and not pointed and rough. This will help the gecko enjoy its playtime to the fullest without hurting itself. 
  • Make sure you give your gecko a vitamin A-rich diet. This will make their eyes healthier and prevent injuries from time to time. You can check out this reptile supplement that will take care of your gecko’s nutrition needs. 
  • Make sure you use soft substrates like sterile soil and not hard ones that can potentially damage Leo’s eyes. 
  • Make sure the lights above the tank are not too bright. Geckos hate overexposure to light as it hampers their sleep schedules. And also irritates their eyes in the long run. 


Why do leopard geckos lick their eyes?

Even though leopard geckos have eyelids, unlike many other lizards. It is important to note that many geckos cannot move their lids. Due to this reason, they sometimes lick their eyes to moisten them.

Licking their eyes can help geckos remove debris and unwanted particles from eyes that are hard to remove otherwise. 

Why are my gecko’s eyes swollen-shut?

This can happen mainly due to vitamin A deficiency in a gecko and the condition is referred to as Hypovitaminosis. To prevent this condition, make sure you give your gecko a vitamin-dense diet or supplements. 

What are some common eye diseases in leopard geckos?

Leopard geckos can get eye infections such as conjunctivitis. Other common problems include abscesses, corneal ulcers, blepharospasm, ocular discharge, parasite infections, etc. 


If your little Leo has been closing its eyes and you are going nuts about this, you shouldn’t! There are a plethora of reasons why your leo might be doing something like this. 

As mentioned before, foreign particles, debris, too much light, etc. are some common reasons why this could be happening. And these cases are mostly non-serious ones. 

However, you should take an action if your gecko has been behaving differently for a few days and its eyes has been shut for more than a day or so. In this case, there might be something else going on such as an eye infection or an eye injury. 

If your pet’s eyes look swollen or red, it is best to seek immediate vet care as it can potentially damage the gecko’s eyes if left untreated. 

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