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Millions of people are exposed daily to harmful levels of noise in their work environment. This renders noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) one of the most important occupational health hazards. Beside age-related hearing loss, NIHL is the second most frequent form of hearing loss. It is a complex condition that is influenced by both environmental factors and genetic factors. Association studies have identified the first genetic factors that may influence one's susceptibility to NIHL. In this review, we discuss the general properties of NIHL and mainly focus on the results of these first genetic association studies for NIHL.