Orbicularis Oculi

Written by Max Bidewell

Last updated January 17, 2023 • 6 Revisions •

The orbicularis oculi is an orbital muscle of facial expression. It plays a key role in closing the eyelids and thus protecting the cornea from damage.

  • Attachments – Originates from the medial orbital margin, the medial palpebral ligament, and the lacrimal bone. It inserts onto the skin around the margin of the orbit as well as the tarsal plates of the eyelid.
  • Actions:
    • Palpebral part – gently closes the eyelids.
    • Lacrimal part – involved in the drainage of tears.
    • Orbital part – tightly closes the eyelids.
  • Innervation – Temporal and zygomatic branches of the facial nerve.
  • Blood supply – Branches of the maxillary, superficial temporal, facial and ophthalmic arteries.

Fig 1
The two orbital muscles of facial expression.

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