Anatomy of eyelid

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 3 May 2018, last major update February 2014

Copyright: (c) 2004-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Anatomy [title] of eyelid [title]

Page views in 2018: 1,696
Page views in 2019 to date: 208
Cite this page: Pernick, N. Eyelid: anatomy of eyelid. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/eyeeyelidanatomy.html. Accessed January 23rd, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Has cutaneous and conjunctival portion
  • Palpebral (tarsal) conjunctiva lines interior of eyelid
    • Very thin
    • Continuous with bulbar conjunctiva that covers the sclera
    • Becomes papillary with allergic or bacterial conjunctivitis
  • Contains eccrine and apocrine glands (glands of Moll) and sebaceous glands
  • Sebaceous glands (Meibomian glands within eyelid fibrous tarsus and glands of Zeis associated with eyelashes) create lipid layer of tear film which retards evaporation of tears
  • The orifices of Meibomian glands open just in front of the posterior edge of the lid margin and are separated from the more anteriorly placed eyelashes by a gray line
  • Muscular layer is composed primary of orbicularis oculi muscle
Gray line
  • Divides the eyelid into anterior and posterior parts
  • It corresponds with the position of the pretarsal orbicularis muscle

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image

Upper eyelid

Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:
Missing Image

Normal upper eyelid
M: meibomian glands
O: orbicularis muscle
T: tarsal plate
Z: Zeis glands

Missing Image

Normal lower eyelid:
smaller tarsal plate
than upper eyelid

Missing Image

Normal Meibomian gland:
sebaceous lobules connect
to sebaceous duct, where
ductal epithelium forms
valve-like structures

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image

Eyelid cross section