Do Turtles Have Eyelids?

Ever wondered if your pet turtle have eyelids?You definetly dont see blinking too much so its hard to make out if they do or not.

Well believe it or not turtle do have eyelids. And its the same purpose as we do. To protect our precious eyes. 

This guide will help pet owners understand the common reasons why turtles blink and what eye problems to avoid. 


Do turtles Have Eyelids

Yes, Turtles do have eyelids that protect their eyes. Turltes also close their eyes when they are resting.

You can clearlly see turtle eyelids in the video below.

Do Turtles Close Their Eyes?

Yes, Turtles do close their eyes when they are falling asleep. On average, turtles sleep for around 4-7 hours a day. Their sleeping habits are like a resting state where they will have to go to the surface for air. Age plays an essential factor in a turtle’s sleep cycle.


Do turtles blink?

Yes, turtles blink their eyes the same matter as humans. However, turtles blink their eyes through moving their membranes. If you notice your turtles blinking their eyes constantly, you should call your vet to determine what to do. 

Sometimes your turtle will blink if the water needs to be changed.

If this is the case, you should consider adding a filtration system. By doing so, you can reduce the amount of blinking and keep your turtle safe. 

Reasons Why Your Turtle Is Blinking A lot?

On average, turtles blink their eyes 180 times a day. Here are some reasons why:

  • Inspect Their Eyes

When checking on your turtle’s eye health, make sure their eyes are bright and clear. If the eyes are unalert and foggy, then there’s a problem with their eyes.

Make sure to check for a veterinarian to ensure that your turtle’s eyes are healthy. 

  • Water Quality

The quality of the tank will cause eye problems for your turtle. For instance, too much chlorine in the tank will cause them to blink excessively.

To reduce the chlorine in the tank, use a labcon in the water. 

Alternatively, you can buy a filter.

With a water filtration system, you can prevent the tank from having bacteria and infecting your turtle. 

  • Stress

Some turtles blink when they are stressed by something. Whether this is due to another reptile, or the water conditions, turtles will blink to reduce the anxiety.

Check the aquarium to see if anything is irritating the turtle.

If any problems are present, you should send them to the vet immediately. 


Turtles have their eyes adapted to their environment. As a result, they have excellent vision and can see color. Turtles can see in the UV spectrum, which is something humans don’t do. 

Also read -> What Color Are Turtle’s Eyes?

Their great vision will ensure that they can navigate their environment,  identify food, and locate mating partners.

Turtles are more susceptible to eye problems, with the most common ones being swollen eyes and eye infections. 

If these problems are unchecked, they can lead to death. Your turtle will need a clean aquarium, create the enclosure, and give your turtles a well-balanced diet to prevent eye infections. 


What Are Some Eye Problems in Turtles?

Eye problems are common amongst pet turtles. Terrestrial and aquatic turtles are known to have swelling eyes if their conditions aren’t met.

Aquatic and box turtles can receive ear abscesses, which leads to eye swelling.

Most eye problems are curable, but they can be severely fatal if they are left untreated. 

  • Symptoms

If your turtle has a runny eye, it is a sign of injury and irritation, especially if their eye is infected.

Cloudiness in both of your turtle’s eyes is a sign of vitamin deficiency or possible injuries. 

A turtle who has ear abscesses or swollen shut eyes might need to be addressed right away.

They will be unable to eat until the vet can fix the problem.

Aquatic turtles feed off sight and will risk starvation if their eyes are shut for too long.

If you notice any symptoms arising from your turtle, you should contact your vet to determine the undermining cause. 

  • Dietary or Medical Reasons

A lack of Vitamin A can lead to eye infections.

Without Vitamin A, a gradual breakdown in the epithelial tissues will make their eyes more prone to swelling.

Also, the eyes are vulnerable to bacterial infections that will need veterinary intervention. Ear abscesses and respiratory problems will lead to eye discharge and swelling. 

As a pet owner, you’re going to have to take care of your turtle’s diet.

Overfeeding is just as bad as underfeeding.

By giving your turtle a balanced diet of proteins, fruits, and vegetables, you can reduce the amount of eye problems they’ll have. 

  • Environmental Causes

An unkempt habitat is the biggest reason for most eye infections.

Contaminated water can cause your turtle’s eyes to be infected, and turtles with dry eyes can become infected and irritated.

Box turtles need to have moisture and humidity in their habitats leads to eye problems.

Heat lamps, tank decorations, and rocks placed too close to turtles will lead to eye injuries.

Sand can get in your turtle’s eye and cause a severe eye infection. 

  • Treatment

The best way to treat your turtle is to avoid the problem in the first place.

You’ll need to give your turtle enough bedding, clean water, sufficient Vitamin A, and it is constantly hydrated.

If any clinical signs are present, ensure your turtle is seen by a reptile veterinarian, who can give antibiotics and decide if a turtle needs Vitamin A supplements. 

Turtle vitamin deficiency is treated with either injectable Vitamin A or powder. A veterinarian should give the treatment because hypervitaminosis A will happen.

Hypervitaminosis A occurs when there is an over-dosage and usage of Vitamin A. If your turtle has a Vitamin A deficiency, this means that your turtle’s diet needs to be improved or corrected. 

Ear abscesses will need surgical treatment.

The ear abscesses are opened, and the pus is removed from their body.

If there is any remaining tissue is present, it will be cleaned by a medical solution. Your veterinarian will have to determine the bacteria that are made by the abscess.

Injectable antibiotics and topical medication will be required. 


Why does my turtle wink at me?

Your turtle will wink at you if they are feeling anxious. According to some pet owners, if you blink back at them, they will become relaxed.

Also, your turtle may be winking at you as a sign of affection. 

Also read

Do Turtle Have Fins 

Do Turtles Have Nipples?

Can Turtles Eat Tomatoes?

Do Turtles Have Tails?

Is My Turtle Underweight or Overweight? (How to Tell?)



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