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Lacrimal Nerve
Nervous System

Lacrimal Nerve

Nervus lacrimalis

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Quick Facts

Origin: Ophthalmic nerve.

Course: Runs from the superior orbital fissure along the superior lateral wall of the lateral rectus muscle towards the lacrimal gland.

Branches: Lacrimal and palpebral branches, communicating branch with zygomatic nerve.

Supply: Sensory: conveys general sensation from the lacrimal gland, skin and conjunctiva of the upper lateral eyelid and lateral eye; Parasympathetic fibers from the greater petrosal nerve and pterygopalatine ganglion communicate with this nerve.

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The lacrimal nerve is a branch of the ophthalmic nerve that originates just proximal to or within the superior orbital fissure.


The lacrimal nerve runs through the upper superior orbital fissure and anterolaterally through the orbit. It runs on the superior and lateral surface of the lateral rectus muscle, roughly with the lacrimal artery, towards the lacrimal gland.


The lacrimal nerve gives rise to glandular and palpebral branches. The glandular branch is considered a continuation of the lacrimal nerve. Shortly before reaching the lacrimal gland, a communication with the zygomatic nerve sends parasympathetic fibers to the lacrimal nerve.

Supplied Structures

The lacrimal nerve is a sensory nerve that also conveys parasympathetic fibers from the facial nerve via the zygomatic nerve.

The sensory fibers of the lacrimal nerve convey sensation from the lacrimal gland via its glandular branch, as well as the skin and conjunctiva of the upper lateral eyelid and lateral eye via its palpebral branch. The parasympathetic fibers supply the lacrimal gland.

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Lacrimal Nerve

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The lacrimal nerve is one of the terminal branches of the ophthalmic nerve.

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