Almost certainly at some time in your life you have experienced the sensation of dizziness, disorientation and unsteadiness when walking, especially when you have been at high altitude. This sensation described is known as vertigo , but many people confuse being afraid of heights with having vertigo and vice versa, although they are related to both.

The term that describes the fear of heights is known as acrophobia , these people usually manifest anxiety problems in specific situations. This fear of heights in many cases can condition the life of the person. People who suffer from acrophobia avoid in all possible ways, for example, a balcony, climbing great heights, looking out to viewpoints, sometimes they can avoid adventure parks, etc. For some people it manifests itself in a more severe way than for others. There are people who can become afraid of climbing a ladder, they feel anguish and panic about it.

Faced with a situation of excessive stress , such as fear of heights , there are symptoms that warn us that we are suffering from anxiety or that the person accompanying us is suffering from it, some of these symptoms are: acceleration of the heart rate, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, dizziness, chills, etc.

In order to treat acrophobia or fear of heights there are several relaxation techniques that can help to cope with these stressful situations. A therapist will gradually get the person who suffers from this problem to face situations so that said person works on the conflict and makes that fear diminish in a progressive way.

Acrophobia is present in all people and animals that have the sense of sight, although as a general rule in a very weak way, that is why most people do not manifest this problem.

Instead, vertigo is a sensation of movement around yourself , somewhat uncontrollable, it can be described as a feeling of dizziness. This subjective perception of movement, since the earth does not shake, can be due to different causes and are not necessarily linked to pathological fear, or acrophobia. There are two types of vertigo: peripheral vertigo and central vertigo.

Peripheral vertigo is one that is due to a problem in the inner ear, this problem out of control of balance. The problem can also include the vestibular nerve, this nerve connects the internal hatred and the brain stem, hence the lack of balance on the part of the brain.

This peripheral vertigo can be caused by:

– Certain medications such as antibiotics, diuretics, etc.

– A head injury such as trauma.

– Inflammation of the vestibular nerve.

– Ménière’s disease, this consists of excess fluid in the ear canals.

– Etc.

On the other hand, central vertigo is due to a problem in our brain , it is usually in the brainstem or the back of the brain. This vertigo can be due to:

– A vascular disease

– Migraines

– Multiple sclerosis

– Tumors

– Cardiovascular accidents.

– Etc.

As we have seen, vertigo can be caused by various causes and of various types. The important thing always in these cases is to go to a specialist and indicate as clearly as possible what our problem is. It should be the specialist who helps us combat our difficulties, be it acrophobia or vertigo. We should never make decisions for ourselves, as this could cause our stress and problems to increase seriously, if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms and feel fear, consult your doctor as soon as possible, they are always there to help us. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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