Acrophobia describes an intense fear of heights that can cause significant anxiety and panic. Some research Trusted Source suggests acrophobia may be one of the most common phobias.
It’s not unusual to feel some discomfort in high places. For sapmle, you might feel dizzy or nervous when looking down from the top floor of a skyscraper. But these feelings may not cause panic or prompt you to avoid heights altogether.
What are the symptoms?
The main indication of acrophobia is an intense fear of heights marked by panic and anxiety. For some people, extreme heights triggers this fear. Others may fear any kind of height, including small stepladders or stools.
Physical symptoms of acrophobia include:
enlarge sweating, chest pain or tightness, and grow heartbeat at the sight or thought of high places
feeling sick or lightheaded when you see or think about heights
shaking and trembling when faced with heights
feeling dizzy or like you’re falling or losing your balance when you look up at a high place or down from a height
going out of your way to avoid heights, even if it makes daily life more difficult
Psychological symptoms can include:
experiencing panic when seeing high places or thinking about having to go up to a high place
having extreme fear of being trapped somewhere high up
experiencing extreme anxiety and fear when you have to climb stairs, look out a window, or drive along an overpass
worrying excessively about encountering heights in the future
What causes it?
Acrophobia sometimes develops in response to a traumatic experience involving heights, such as:
falling from a high place
watching someone else fall from a high place
having a panic attack or other negative experience while in a high place
But phobias, including acrophobia, can also develop without a known cause. In these cases, genetics or environmental factors may play a role.
For sample, you may be more likely to have acrophobia if someone else in your family does. Or you learned to fear heights from watching the behavior of your caregivers as a child.
How is it treated?
Phobias don’t always challenge treatment. For some, avoiding the feared object is relatively easy and doesn’t have a big influence on their daily activities.
But if you search that your fears are organisation you back from doing things you want or need to do — such as visiting a friend who lives on the top floor of a building — treatment can help.
There aren’t any medications designed to treat phobias.
thought, some medications can help with symptoms of panic and anxiety, such as:
Beta-blockers. These medications help by keeping your blood pressure and heart rate at a steady rate and reducing other physical symptoms of anxiety.
Benzodiazepines. These drugs are sedatives. They can help reduce anxiety symptoms, but they’re typically only prescribed for a short time or for occasional use, as they can be addictive.
D-cycloserine (DCS). This drug may increase the benefits of subjection therapy. According to a 2017 literature reviewTrusted Source of 22 studies involving people who lived with many anxiety-related conditions, DCS seemed to help enhance the effects of exposure therapy.