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Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear or phobia of heights, especially when one is not particularly high up. It belongs to a category of specific phobias , called space and motion discomfort, that share both similar causes and options for treatment.
Individuals having the fear of heights generally avoid tall buildings, Ferris wheels, roller coasters, skiing or even standing on high hills or balconies. Acrophobia generally affects the recreational activities one can enjoy. However, in some extreme cases, the phobia can affect one’s day to day life.
Acrophobia describes an intense fear of heights that can cause significant anxiety and panic. Some research suggests acrophobia may be one of the most common phobias.
Unfortunately, there are some other phobias that go hand in hand with acrophobia. These can be treated alongside your fear of heights and include: Aerophobia. Intense fear of being in the air or of flying; Bathmophobia. Intense fear of observing slopes or stairs; Climacophobia. Intense fear of going down from a height or of climbing; Illyngophobia.
The definition of acrophobia is, simply put, a phobia of heights. Those who suffer from acrophobia—the word comes from the Greek word for heights, which is “acron,” and the Greek word for fear, which is “phobos”—typically don’t enjoy outings to amusement parks if these involve Ferris wheels and roller coasters.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines acrophobia as an extreme or irrational fear of heights. Dating back to the late 19th century, doctors merged the Greek for summit and phobia to create the term. Although symptoms can vary on a case to case basis, many experience shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating and nausea.