The advantages of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are its sensitivity and its accuracy in detecting and measuring immunoglobulin classes. By ELISA, the tear IgA level was measured in 165 healthy persons. Tears were collected by a strong absorbent (Weck Cel). This is the first report of a tear IgA level in normal Koreans measured by ELISA. The mean level was 60.5 +/- 23.4 mg/dl. There was no statistically significant difference between the IgA level in the males (61.8 +/- 23.2 mg/dl) and that of the females (58.4 +/- 23.5 mg/dl)(p greater than 0.05). The difference between the tear IgA levels in the various age groups was not significant (p greater than 0.05).