Dry eye syndrome is a common irritating eye disease. Current clinical diagnostic methods are invasive and uncomfortable for patients. This study developed a custom designed noncontact infrared (IR) thermal image system to measure the spatial and temporal variation of the ocular surface temperature over a 6-second eye-open period. This research defined two parameters: the temperature difference value and the compactness value to represent the temperature change and the irregularity of the temperature distribution on the tear film. Using these two parameters, this study achieved discrimination results for the dry eye and the normal eye groups; the sensitivity is 0.84, the specificity is 0.83, and the receiver operating characteristic area is 0.87. The results suggest that the custom designed IR thermal image system may be used as an effective tool for noncontact detection of dry eye.