Glaucoma causes damage of the nerve fiber layer, which may cause loss of retinal birefringence. Therefore, PS-OCT is a potentially useful technique for the early detection of glaucoma. We built a fiber-based PS-OCT setup that produces real-time images of the human retina in vivo, coregistered with retinal video images of the location of PS-OCT scans. Preliminary measurements of a healthy volunteer show that the double-pass phase retardation per unit of depth of the RNFL is not constant and varies with location, with values between 0.18 and 0.37 deg/μm. A trend in the preliminary measurements shows that the nerve fiber layer located inferior and superior to the optic nerve head is more birefringent than the thinner layer of nerve fiber tissue in the temporal and nasal regions. © 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.