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Nasolacrimal duct

Recommended video: Lacrimal apparatus [12:04]
Anatomy of the lacrimal apparatus and its relations with other head structures (12 structures).

The nasolacrimal duct (also known as the tear duct) carries tears or lacrimal fluid from the lacrimal sac of the eye into the inferior nasal meatus. The lacrimal gland produces lacrimal fluid when stimulated by parasympathetic impulses from the facial nerve (CN VII). This fluid then flows into the lacrimal sac.

The nasolacrimal gland is a continuation of the lacrimal sac and it runs along the lateral wall of the nasal cavity

Like the lacrimal sac, the nasolacrimal duct is lined by stratified columnar epithelium. This epithelium contains mucus-secreting goblet cellsThe nasolacrimal duct drains the lacrimal fluid posteriorly across the floor of the nasal cavity to the nasopharynx where the fluid is eventually swallowed.

The nasolacrimal duct has two parts: the intraosseous part and the membranous part. The intraosseous part enters the lacrimal groove and descends within the nasolacrimal canal of the maxilla
The membranous part
 courses through the nasal mucosa and ends beneath the inferior nasal meatus as a narrow opening that is concealed by the lacrimal fold

Terminology English: Nasolacrimal duct 
Latin: Ductus nasolacrimalis
Location Runs along the lateral wall of the nasal cavity 
Function Carries lacrimal fluid from the lacrimal sac to the inferior nasal meatus 

Learn more about the nasolacrimal duct in this study unit:

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