noun, plural: lacrimal glands
The lacrimal glands are the paired glands situated in the upper lateral part of the orbit, particularly in the lacrimal fossa. They are almond-shaped and involved in the production of tears, particularly secreting the aqueous layer of the tear film. The fluid they secrete low into the canals connected to the lacrimal sac. From the sac, the tears, then drain through the lacrimal ducts into the space between the eyeball and eyelids. An excess of tears leads to the tears draining through the lacrimal duct onto the nasolacrimal duct, and finally into the nasal cavity. The tear secreted by the lacrimal gland is essential in lubricating and protecting the cornea and the eyeball.
The lacrimal glands are made up of tiny lobules, which in turn, are comprised of several acini. Within the acini are serous cells that produce the aqueous fluid. Parasympathetic, sympathetic, and sensory nerves innervate the lacrimal glands.
The lacrimal glands are classified as serous type of exocrine glands. They are part of the lacrimal apparatus. The lacrimal apparatus is the tear-forming and tear-conducting system comprised of lacrimal glands, eyelid margins, conjunctival sac, and the tear drainage system.
- glandula lacrimalis