Eye Problems

Chameleons have a unique method of keeping their eyes clean. They circulate fluid around inside their eye to clear debris, so if you notice squinting/bulging on occasion, this is normal. It’s only when symptoms persist more than 24 hours that you should be worried.


  • Swollen eye(s)
  • Fluid “weeping” from the eye
  • One eye perpetually closed, even during the day
  • Rubbing/scratching at affected eye
  • Not eating


  • Poor ventilation
  • Scratches
  • Bacterial infection
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Dehydration


Chameleons rely heavily on their eyesight, so if you notice that your chameleon’s eye seems swollen or demonstrates another other symptom, make an appointment with a certified reptile veterinarian immediately. They will likely flush out the eye and prescribe a saline solution and antibiotic.

Wild chameleons keep themselves clean via rain in the wild. In captivity, regular misting/showers is one of the best ways to help your chameleon keep their eyes clean.


Read more at the Chameleon Breeder Podcast.

Other chameleon health topics: