Bird Eye Health

A Closer Look at Bird Eye Infections and How to Treat Them

By Diane Burroughs

Table of Contents

If you own a parrot, it's important to be aware of the various parrot eye problems they can face. Bird eye infections are common, and can be caused by a variety of factors, from bacterial infections to environmental irritants. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the most common types of parrot eye problems, their causes, and what you can do to treat them.

Understanding Common Bird Eye Problems

Parrot owners need to be well-informed about various eye problems that their feathered friends can experience. It is essential to understand the various bird eye diseases and bird conjunctivitis that can affect parrots so that you identify and address any issues quickly. By being aware of common parrot eye problems, you can ensure your beloved pet's quality of life.

Bird eye diseases encompass a range of conditions that can impact a parrot's vision and overall health. These ailments can arise from various factors, including infections, trauma, and nutritional deficiencies. Some of the most common eye problems seen in parrots are conjunctivitis, eye trauma, cataracts, and vitamin A deficiency.

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the front of the eye. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Common symptoms of conjunctivitis in parrots include redness, discharge, swelling, and squinting. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications.

Eye trauma and injuries are another significant concern for parrot owners. Parrots are naturally very curious and their playful nature can sometimes lead to accidents. Common causes of eye trauma include collisions, scratches from sharp objects, or excessive scratching. It is crucial to provide a safe and bird-friendly environment to minimize the risk of eye injuries.

Cataracts, although relatively rare, can also affect parrots. Cataracts cause a clouding of the lens in the eye, leading to vision impairment or even blindness. While some cataracts may develop naturally due to aging, others may result from underlying health conditions or injuries.

Regular check-ups with an avian veterinarian can help detect cataracts early on and determine the appropriate course of action. Lastly, a vitamin A and E deficiency can have a significant impact on a parrot's eye health. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the cornea and preventing dryness and infections. Inadequate dietary intake of vitamin A can lead to eye problems such as conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, and impaired night vision

Understanding these common parrot eye problems can empower you to take proactive steps to prevent them or catch them early. By providing a balanced and nutritious diet, ensuring a safe environment, and seeking professional veterinary care, you can safeguard your parrot's eye health and overall well-being.

Eye Infections and their Symptoms

Eye infections are a common concern for parrot owners, as they can significantly impact their bird's vision and overall health. These infections fall under the category of bird eye diseases, and one of the most common is bird conjunctivitis. Understanding the symptoms of these infections is crucial in order to provide timely treatment and care for your feathered friend.Bird eye diseases, including conjunctivitis, can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Some of the common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Redness
  • Discharge
  • Swelling
  • Squinting.
If you notice any of these signs in your parrot, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Prompt treatment can help prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications.

Other symptoms of eye infections may include excessive tearing, cloudiness in the eye, or a change in the bird's behavior, such as rubbing or scratching at the eye. These signs indicate that something is amiss and should not be ignored.

By recognizing the symptoms of eye infections in parrots, you can take proactive steps to address them and provide the necessary care. The earlier you intervene, the better the chances that your parrot will have a full recovery. Remember, their vision is essential for a bird's well-being, so it is crucial to get into the habit of carefully examining your bird every day.

If you suspect that your parrot may have an eye infection, it is recommended to consult with an avian veterinarian. If you can't find an avian veterinarian, consider using an exotics veterinarian. Either will be able to properly diagnose the issue and provide the appropriate treatment plan. Avoid self-diagnosing or administering over-the-counter remedies, as these may not be suitable for your parrot's specific condition.

Conjunctivitis in Parrots and Can Bird's Recover On Their Own

I've already mentioned that bird conjunctivitis is fairly common in birds and that it often stems from a bacterial or fungal infection. 

If you suspect that your parrot has conjunctivitis, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to properly diagnose the condition and recommend the appropriate treatment plan. While some cases of conjunctivitis may resolve on their own, it is generally be proactive in seeking treatment because mistreatment can lead to irreversible blindness.

Birds have delicate eyes, and leaving conjunctivitis untreated can lead to further complications. The infection can spread to other parts of the eye or even to the other eye, causing more significant damage and potential vision loss. Prompt treatment can help alleviate your parrot's discomfort and prevent the infection from worsening.

Bird eye

The treatment for conjunctivitis in parrots typically involves antibiotic or antifungal medications, depending on the cause of the infection. These medications may be administered orally, through eye drops, or as an injection. Your veterinarian will determine the best course of action based on your parrot's specific condition.

In addition to medication, it is important to provide your parrot with a clean and safe environment to prevent reinfection.

Keeping the cage and perches clean and avoiding exposure to potential irritants or allergens are good ways to prevent conjunctivitis.

Eye Trauma and Injuries in Parrots 

Eye trauma and injuries are significant concerns for parrot owners. While parrots are curious and playful creatures, their adventurous nature can sometimes lead to accidents or mishaps that can result in eye injuries. As a parrot owner, it is crucial to provide a safe and bird-friendly environment to minimize the risk of accidental eye trauma.

Eye trauma can occur due to various reasons, including collisions with objects, scratches from sharp surfaces or objects, or excessive rubbing. These injuries can range from minor scratches or abrasions to more severe conditions that may require immediate medical attention.

If you suspect that your parrot has experienced eye trauma or injury, it is important to take prompt action. Assess the situation and determine the severity of the injury. If there is visible bleeding, or significant swelling, or if your parrot seems to be less active than usual it is recommended to seek immediate veterinary care.

In less severe cases, you can provide temporary relief to your parrot by gently flushing the affected eye with sterile saline solution or clean water. Be sure to use a soft cloth or cotton pad to avoid causing further damage or discomfort. However, keep in mind that this is only a temporary measure, and veterinary intervention is still necessary.

Avian veterinarians have the knowledge and experience to accurately diagnose the extent of the injury and provide appropriate treatment. They may prescribe medications, administer eye drops, or recommend any necessary procedures to address the injury effectively.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. To minimize the risk of eye trauma and injuries, ensure that your parrot's environment is free from sharp objects, keep hazardous substances out of reach, and closely supervise your parrot during playtime. Regularly inspect your parrot's toys and perches for any signs of wear and tear that may pose a risk to their eye health.

Cataracts in Parrots

Cataracts, although relatively rare in birds, can also affect parrots and their eye health. A cataract is a condition characterized by the clouding of the lens in the eye, which can lead to vision impairment or even blindness in severe cases. While some cataracts may develop naturally due to aging, others may result from underlying health conditions or eye injuries.

Bird eye infections

If your parrot is diagnosed with cataracts, it's important to understand the implications and seek appropriate veterinary care. Cataracts can significantly impact your feathered friend's quality of life and overall well-being. Vision is crucial for a parrot's daily activities, such as foraging, playing, and navigating their environment.

Fortunately, there is hope for parrots with cataracts. Advances in veterinary medicine have made it possible to treat cataracts in birds, including parrots. Surgical intervention is often the recommended course of action to remove the cloudy lens and restore vision. However, not all parrots are suitable candidates for surgery, as factors such as the bird's age, overall health, and the extent of the cataracts need to be considered.

It is essential to consult with an avian veterinarian who specializes in bird eye health to assess your parrot's condition and discuss the available treatment options. They will be able to provide expert guidance based on your parrot's individual needs and circumstances.

In some cases, the decision may be made to not proceed with surgery, particularly if the cataracts are not significantly impacting your parrot's quality of life or if the risks of the procedure outweigh the potential benefits. Your veterinarian will work with you to develop a management plan that focuses on optimizing your parrot's overall well-being and making accommodations to ensure they can live comfortably with cataracts.

Remember, supporting your parrot's eye health goes beyond treating the cataracts themselves. It is essential to address any underlying health issues and provide a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including vitamin A. Regular check-ups with your avian veterinarian will help monitor your parrot's eye health and address any potential complications.

Vitamin A and E Deficiency and its Impact on Parrot Eye

Vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of a parrot's eyes, and a deficiency in this essential nutrient can have a significant impact on their eye health. Parrots rely on vitamin A to maintain the integrity of the cornea, prevent dryness and infections, and support optimal vision. When a parrot doesn't get enough vitamin A in their diet, it can lead to a condition known as hypovitaminosis A. This deficiency can cause a variety of eye problems, including conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, and impaired night vision.

Healthy Fats for birds

One of the most common eye problems associated with vitamin A deficiency in parrots is conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the front of the eye. A lack of vitamin A weakens the conjunctiva and makes the parrot more susceptible to infections and inflammation.

Parrots with vitamin A deficiency may develop redness, discharge, and swelling in their eyes, similar to the symptoms of conjunctivitis caused by other factors. However, the underlying cause is often the lack of vitamin A in their diet. It's essential to address this deficiency and provide your parrot with a balanced and nutritious diet to prevent further complications.

To ensure your parrot is getting enough vitamin A, it's crucial to offer a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale. However, it's important to note that not all fruits and vegetables are safe for parrots, so consult with your avian veterinarian or an experienced bird nutritionist to determine the best diet for your feathered friend.

In addition to fruits and vegetables, Red Palm Oil is also rich in vitamin A.  Regular check-ups and blood tests can help monitor your parrot's vitamin A levels and ensure they are within a healthy range.


By addressing and correcting vitamin A deficiency in your parrot, you can significantly improve their eye health and overall well-being. With a proper diet and regular veterinary care, you can ensure that your feathered friend enjoys clear vision and vibrant eye health.

In addition to vitamin A deficiency, another potential cause of parrot eye problems is vitamin E deficiency. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the cells in the parrot's eyes from damage caused by free radicals. When a parrot lacks sufficient vitamin E in their diet, it can lead to oxidative stress and contribute to the development of eye problems such as conjunctivitis. Similar to vitamin A deficiency, a lack of vitamin E weakens the parrot's immune system and makes them more prone to infections and inflammation in the eyes.

To ensure your parrot receives an adequate amount of vitamin E, consider adding foods such as red palm oil, almonds, and wheat germ to their diet. Taking a holistic approach and addressing both vitamin A and E deficiencies can help safeguard your parrot's eye health and overall well-being.

Preventing Parrot Eye Problems

Parrot owners want nothing more than to keep their feathered friends happy and healthy. When it comes to preventing parrot eye problems, there are several proactive steps you can take to minimize the risk. By following these guidelines, you can help safeguard your parrot's eye health and overall well-being.

First and foremost, maintaining a clean and safe environment is crucial. Regularly clean your parrot's cage, perches, and toys to prevent the buildup of bacteria or irritants that can lead to eye infections. Keep hazardous substances, sharp objects, and potential irritants away from your parrot's living space. Proper nutrition is also key in preventing parrot eye problems.

A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including vitamin A, can help support optimal eye health. Consult with your avian veterinarian or a bird nutritionist to determine the best diet for your parrot and include foods that are beneficial for their eye health, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to detect any potential eye issues early on. Your avian veterinarian can perform routine eye examinations and address any concerns or symptoms that may arise. They can also provide guidance on proper eye care and recommend any necessary preventive measures, such as eye drops or supplements. 

Additionally, practicing good hygiene habits can help prevent the spread of infections. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your parrot, and avoid touching your face or eyes while interacting with your bird. If you have multiple parrots, quarantine any new birds before introducing them to the rest of the flock to prevent the spread of contagious eye infections, such as bird conjunctivitis.

By implementing these preventative measures and staying proactive in your parrot's eye care, you can greatly reduce the risk of eye problems. Remember, early detection and intervention are key in maintaining your parrot's eye health. Stay observant, seek professional veterinary care when needed, and provide a loving and safe environment for your beloved parrot.


As a parrot owner, it's essential to have access to reliable resources that can provide further information and support regarding parrot eye problems. Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to help you navigate these challenges and ensure the best possible care for your feathered friend.

One valuable resource is your avian veterinarian. They are the experts when it comes to bird health and can provide invaluable guidance and advice specific to your parrot's needs. They can diagnose and treat eye problems, recommend appropriate medications or treatments, and offer ongoing support and care. Don't hesitate to reach out to them with any concerns or questions you may have.

Online communities and forums dedicated to parrot owners are another excellent resource. These platforms allow you to connect with other parrot owners who may have experienced similar eye problems with their birds. They can offer advice, share personal experiences, and provide emotional support. Just be sure to verify the information you receive from these sources with your avian veterinarian to ensure accuracy.

Bird-specific publications and books are also a valuable resource. Look for titles that focus on bird health and care, particularly those that cover eye problems in parrots. These publications can provide in-depth information, practical tips, and guidance for managing and treating various eye conditions. Some popular titles include "The Parrot Health Guide" by Dr. Colin Walker and "Birds Eye View: A Comprehensive Guide to the Care and Maintenance of Pet Birds" by Dr. Gabriel A. Bunke.

Lastly, online research can be helpful when used responsibly. Look for reputable websites and articles from trusted sources such as veterinary universities, bird health organizations, or respected avian veterinarians. Always double-check the information you find and consult with your avian veterinarian to ensure accuracy and appropriateness for your parrot's specific needs.

Remember, it's crucial to rely on qualified professionals and reputable resources when seeking information and support for parrot eye problems. The more knowledge and understanding you have, the better equipped you'll be to provide the best care for your beloved parrot. Stay proactive, keep learning, and never hesitate to reach out for assistance when needed.

Related Posts:

 7 parrot eye problems and what to do about them


Burkett, Greg. Avian First Aid: Be Your Bird's First Responder! DVD.

Hawcroft, Tim.  First Aid for Birds:  The Essential, Quick Reference Guide.  Howell Book House. 1994. 

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #BirdEyeHealth #BirdEyeCare #ParrotEyeHealth



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