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Palpebral conjunctiva

Recommended video: Eyelids and tunica conjunctiva [21:20]
Sagittal section of the orbital cavity and eyeball.

The palpebral conjunctiva is part of the conjunctiva that lines the eyelids.

The conjunctiva is a thin, transparent mucous membrane that lines the inner eyelid and the eyeball. It consists of two parts: the palpebral conjunctiva and the bulbar conjunctiva. When the eyelids are closed, the conjunctiva forms the conjunctival sac.

This palpebral conjunctiva is attached firmly to the upper and lower tarsi and begins at the posterior third of the mucocutaneous junction.  
The palpebral conjunctiva is reflected onto the eyeball and this reflection forms deep recesses called the superior and inferior conjunctival fornices. The palpebral conjunctiva is red and vascular with visible yellow stripes that are known as the tarsal glands.

The palpebral conjunctiva is lined by non-keratinized stratified columnar epithelium with goblet cells. These cells are found on the lamina propria, which is made up of loose connective tissue. The secretions from the goblet cells contribute to the tears that bathe the eyes.

The function of the palpebral conjunctiva is to protect the eye from foreign bodies, lubricate the eye and allow smooth movement of the eyelid over the eyeball. 

Blood supply to the palpebral conjunctiva is via the superior and inferior palpebral arches of the eyelid (branches of the medial palpebral artery). Innervation is derived from the ophthalmic division of trigeminal nerve (CN V).

Terminology English: Palpebral conjunctiva
Latin: Tunica conjunctiva palpebrae
Definition Transparent mucous membrane lining the eyelids
Function Protect cornea and bulbar conjunctiva from foreign bodies

Learn more about the palpebral conjuctiva in this study unit and article: 

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