Fear of heights and helicopter tours

You’re not alone if you’ve ever felt nervous or uncomfortable climbing a ladder. 

Fear of heights is a daily struggle for many people. 

Some people experience it even without being in a high place. 

The best way to overcome a fear of heights and flying is by understanding its causes and consequences. 

What is the fear of heights called? 

The intense fear or phobia of heights is called Acrophobia. 

It is a recognized anxiety disorder—a person with Acrophobia experiences severe anxiety and discomfort from thinking of or being far from the ground. 

A large part of the population experiences a minor and routine fear of heights.

However, people with Acrophobia encounter a much more disruptive form of it.

What causes the fear of heights

According to research, a fear of heights is instinctive. 

In humans, instinct creates awareness of heights. 

In people with acrophobia, consciousness overpowers, making it difficult to conquer basic tasks.

Lacking motor skills and balance can also result in a fear of heights. 

If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, such as falling from a great height, it can result in acrophobia. 

A fear of falling and loud noises often accompanies a fear of heights. 

Sometimes minor incidents in childhood are stored in the memory as traumatic, resulting in fear of heights in the future. 

Is the fear of heights common 

The fear of a spider or the dread of getting on an airplane, a phobia, is the most typical type of anxiety disorder. 

Fear of heights is one of the most common phobias experienced by people.

Around 3 percent to 5 percent of the population suffers from this phobia. 

What are the signs and symptoms of acrophobia?

A fear of heights can impact a person psychologically and physically. 

Psychological symptoms include:

  • Experiencing panic and discomfort when thinking of, seeing, or being at a high place. 
  • Fear of getting trapped at a significant height. 
  • Facing difficulty while doing daily tasks such as climbing stairs, peeping out of a window, and driving along a highway. 
  • Encountering a need to exit whenever at a higher place.

Physical symptoms include:

  • Experiencing dizziness or loss of balance while looking at an elevated place or down from one.
  • Increased heart rate, chest pain and tightness from thinking about or being at a high place.
  • Feeling shaky when standing at a greater height. 

How to overcome a fear of heights

There are various psychological aids for Acrophobia.

The first step you can take to overcome it is rationalizing your fear. 

Try understanding the root cause of your phobia and your body’s reaction. 

Exposure therapy is helpful for people with a fear of heights. 

Exercising gradual exposure to different height levels can make the experience less overwhelming. 

Learning and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing will help. 

Cognitive behavior therapy can also help you cope better with your phobia. 

If you’re aware of a situation where you might face your fear, prepare yourself mentally in advance. 

There are medications to help with acrophobia, but a consultation with a doctor is essential.

Fear of heights and flying

The fear of flying often stems from the fear of heights.

People who fear heights depend more on visual clues than others and have difficulty flying in an aircraft. 

Acrohphobics experience significant motion and sense difficulty. 

Hence, going on a helicopter tour is not an excellent idea if the phobia is untreated. 

It might trigger your anxiety and make it difficult for you to stabilize while on the flight.

If your acrophobia is manageable, you don’t have to miss out on the experience of flying. 

Are helicopter tours dangerous? 

Are helicopter tours dangerous
Image: Vaughn.edu

The chances of a helicopter tour being dangerous or deadly are slim. 

Statistics show that more people die in car crashes than in aircraft. 

That is why a thorough inspection of the machine takes place before takeoff. 

The pilot checks all the factors that could affect the tour, such as weather conditions, wind speed and weight in the helicopter. 

You will get a briefing on the safety protocol and the emergency equipment. 

Familiarize yourself with the process and the area to reduce fear of uncertain situations. 

If you’ve managed your fear of heights and flying, you’ll have a smooth experience.

Featured Image: Roberto Caucino ( Canva)