Looking to lead a stronger, healthier life?
Sign up for our Wellness Wire newsletter for all sorts of nutrition, fitness, and wellness wisdom.

Now we’re in this together.
Thanks for subscribing and having us along on your health and wellness journey.

See all Healthline's newsletters »

Orbicularis oculi

The orbicularis oculi muscle is one of the two major components that form the core of the eyelid, the other being the tarsal plate. The orbicularis oculi muscle is composed of skeletal muscle fibers, and receives nerves from the facial nerve. It is an important muscle in facial expression.

The orbicularis oculi muscle lies directly underneath the surface the skin, around the eyes. Its function is to close the eyelid, and to help in the passing and draining of tears through the punctum, canaliculi, and lacrimal sac, all parts of the tear drainage system.

The orbicularis oculi muscle is composed of three parts: the orbital portion, the palpebral portion, and the lacrimal portion. The orbital portion closes the eyelids firmly and is controlled by voluntary action. The palpebral portion closes the eyelids gently in involuntary or reflex blinking. The palpebral portion is divided into three parts; the pretarsal portion, the preseptal portion, and the ciliary portion. The lacrimal portion compresses the lacrimal sac, which receives tears from the lacrimal ducts and conveys them into the nasolacrimal duct.

Facial paralysis often affects the orbicularis oculi muscle. Inability to close the eye causes it to dry out, resulting in pain or even blindness in extreme cases.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
Co-developed by:

In Depth: Orbicularis oculi

Debugging Tools

Level: 2
Frame: 1
Toggle Hotspot
VP Data Tool
HexTable json from Steve
Steve's ajax layer update call:
[still on original layer]

Ad values:

adModel.dfpAdSite: hn.us.hl.bm.x.x.x
adParams['k1']: othereyeproblems,orbicularis_oculi_muscle,8815817

More on BodyMaps

Take a Video Tour

Learn how to rotate, look inside and explore the human body. Take the tour

BodyMaps Feedback

How do you like BodyMaps? How can we improve it? Tell us what you think