Ophthalmic nerve

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The ophthalmic nerve ("eyeball nerve ", from ancient Greek ophthalmos "eyeball" ) is the first of the three main branches of the fifth  cranial nerve , the trigeminal nerve , and is abbreviated as V 1 . He is responsible for the sensitive innervation of the eye area. It leaves the cranial cavity through the superior orbital fissure and thus enters the eye socket behind the eye . The ophthalmic nerve divides into four main branches: R. tentorii , N. frontalis , N. lacrimalis and N. nasociliaris .

Ramus tentorii

The sensitive ramus tentorii returns to the cranial cavity, where it innervates formations of the hard meninges ( dura mater , especially tentorium cerebelli membranaceum and dura fossae cranii posterioris ).

Frontal nerve

Nerves around the eyes

The frontal nerve (" frontal nerve", from Latin frons "forehead") pulls medial to the outer eye muscles to the upper edge of the orbit and reaches the surface there; in horses it passes through the supraorbital foramen . It has two branches:

Lacrimal nerve

The lacrimal nerve ("tear nerve", from Latin lacrima "tear") runs laterally over the outer eye muscles and leaves the orbit at the lateral corner of the eye. It supplies the lacrimal gland and the area of ​​the temporal corner of the eye in a sensitive manner . It has connections to the zygomatic nerve (the maxillary nerve ), so that the supply areas of the two nerves overlap.

Postganglionic parasympathetic (secretory) and sympathetic fibers are also carried to the lacrimal gland via the lacrimal nerve . The sympathetic fibers originate from the internal carotid plexus . The parasympathetic fibers originate from the 7th cranial nerve ( facial nerve , more precisely from the major petrosal nerve ) and are switched to postganglionic fibers in the pterygopalatine ganglion . The sympathetic and parasympathetic fibers reach the lacrimal nerve via the zygomatic nerve (communicating ramus), which in turn is used as a guide structure.

Nasociliary nerve

The nasociliary nerve (from Latin nasus " nose " and cilium " eyelash ", "lid") crosses the optic nerves from lateral to medial and divides on the nasal orbital wall into the ethmoid nerve, the infratrochlear nerve and the long ciliary nerve. These nerves supply the nasal cavity, the tear ducts and the middle skin of the eye , the cornea and the conjunctiva .


  • Martin Trepel: Neuroanatomy. Structure and function. 3rd, revised edition. Urban & Fischer, Munich et al. 2004, ISBN 3-437-41297-3 .
  • Franz-Viktor Salomon: nervous system, systema nervosum . In: Franz-Viktor Salomon, Hans Geyer, Uwe Gille (Ed.): Anatomy for veterinary medicine. Enke, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-8304-1007-7 , pp. 464-577.