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5 Common Eye Disorders in Birds

calendar  Aug 11, 2018

Eye infections in birds indicate poor health and deficiencies. These infections can also be triggered due to bruises in the eye or because of the presence of bacteria or viruses in the organ. Some of the bird’s eye infections also emerge as secondary symptoms of an underlying illness. Therefore you must first rule out the cause of the disorder to treat her effectively. Here are the 5 common eye infections in birds that cause blindness, swelling or redness of eyes in birds.


Conjunctivitis is the most common eye infection in finches, cockatoos, mynahs, parakeets etc. It is caused by bacteria that attacks the conjunctiva of the bird’s eye and is characterized by swelling, redness, irritation, tearing, listlessness, sensitivity to light, sinusitis and watery eyes. A respiratory tract infection can also be the cause of conjunctivitis in birds.

Marek’s Disease

Marek’s disease is caused by alphaherpesvirus and has no cure. However, the disease can be prevented by vaccinating the bird. The most prominent symptom of Marek’s disease is irregularly shaped pupils in birds. Iris problems that lead to blindness are also common in the birds affected with Marek’s disease. Moreover, sometimes when the disease is severe, it may also lead to cancer. So, vaccination is imperative to safeguard the bird.  


Cataracts are very common in canaries. However, other birds are equally prone to cataracts as it is an age-related disease as well. The condition emerges due to the deficiency of Vitamin E which is generally due to poor nutrition or inability of the body to absorb vitamins through food. Overexposure of eyes to artificial lightings or infection caused by encephalomyelitis may also lead to cataract formation in birdies.


Uveitis is the inflammation of the uveal tract that includes iris, choroid, and ciliary body. This disease can emerge due to some underlying internal disease. To understand the root cause of this disease is, therefore, highly important and treatment must be started immediately.

Avian Pox

Avian pox is a very painful and annoying viral infection of the bird’s eyelids. In this disease, the eyelids swell up due to the blister formations and as a result, the birds feel difficulty in vision and partially lose their sight. However, once treated appropriately, the vision is regained.


The main cause of all of these 5 diseases is poor nutrition, inappropriate grooming which leads to bacterial and viral infection or some internal illness. Eye disorders can also be the result of a fungal infection that affects the eyes, respiratory system, and brain function. Therefore, it is extremely important that you feed a well-balanced diet to your bird and groom her regularly. Also, keep an antibiotic eye drop in store so as to maintain her vision clear and devoid of infections. Immediately check with your vet if the bird has red eyes, any sort of eye discharge, swelling around the eyelids or increased squinting. Immediate action may prevent your bird from losing her vision forever. So, make sure you check her daily.

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