Presbycusis is age-related hearing loss, especially with high frequency sounds. Much the same as presbyopia which is a condition where the lens of the eye losses its ability to focus on near objects as we age.
There are few effective treatments for presbycusis, but a recent study may shed some light on an important antioxidant that may help.
A study was done with 60 patients (average age was 71), to look at effective treatments for presbycusis. The patients were randomly assigned to receive 160 mg per day of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), 50 mg per day of Vitamin E, or placebo for 30 days. Compared with Vitamin E, CoQ10 improved audiometric thresholds significantly. The best part is that the improvement in hearing lasted 6 months after treatment!
There have also been some smaller studies showing benefit in using zinc to help with age-related hearing loss. CoQ10 might work by enhancing the production of mitochondrial energy (the energy storage units of the cells) or decreasing oxidative stress in the apparatus of the ear.
Reference: Guastini L et al. Water-soluble coenzyme Q10 formulation in presbycusis; long-term effects. Acta Otolaryngol. 2011; 131:512-517.