The paper presents an interferometric method of assessing the in vivo stability of the precorneal tear film. To observe dynamic effects on a human cornea the Twyman–Green interferometer with television frame speed digital registration synchronized with a laser flash was used. The instrument was applied to the human cornea in vivo. The results of the experiment, both tear film distribution and its dynamics, are presented. The proposed interferometric setup can be used to evaluate the breakup characteristics of the tear film, its distribution, and to examine its dynamic changes. The breakup profiles and their cross sections calculated from the interferogram analysis are presented. The depth of recorded breakup, calculated on the basis of interferogram analysis, amounts to about 1.5 μm. The proposed method has the advantage of being noncontact and applies only a low-energy laser beam to the eye. This provides noninvasive viewing of human cornea in vivo and makes it possible to observe the kinetics of its tear film deterioration. © 1999 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.