Age-related hearing loss (AHL) in common inbred mouse strains is a genetically complex quantitative trait. We found a synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism in exon 7 of Cdh23 that shows significant association with AHL and the deafness modifier mdfw (modifer of deafwaddler). The hypomorphic Cdh23(753A) allele causes in-frame skipping of exon 7. Altered adhesion or reduced stability of CDH23 may confer susceptibility to AHL. Homozygosity at Cdh23(753A) or in combination with heterogeneous secondary factors is a primary determinant of AHL in mice.