Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is a complex multifactorial disease. It is highly prevalent in older adults and has significant adverse impact on communication, mental health and quality of life. Severity and onset of ARHL varies substantially between individuals, and heritability estimates of ARHL range up to 75%. Understanding the genetics of ARHL may allow targeted treatment or prevention. We review the current research in humans on genetic susceptibility to ARHL related to (1) cell adhesion, cell shape and epithelial development, (2) neurotransmission, (3) oxidative stress, (4) immune response/apoptosis, and (5) other functions.