Picture of the Day: Instant Vertigo
Photograph by VINCENT LAFORET
Deke Johnson, left, and Tom Silliman work 1,385 feet (422m) above street level to repair the electrical connections of an FM antenna atop the Empire State Building. Below you can see the heads of onlookers looking up from the observation deck.
Acrophobia is an extreme or irrational fear of heights. It belongs to a category of specific phobias, called space and motion discomfort that share both similar etiology and options for treatment. Vertigo is often used (incorrectly) to describe a fear of heights, but it is more accurately a spinning sensation that occurs when one is not actually spinning.
It can be triggered by looking down from a high place, or by looking straight up at a high place or tall object, but this alone does not describe vertigo. True vertigo can be triggered by almost any type of movement (e.g. standing up, sitting down, walking) or change in visual perspective (e.g. squatting down, walking up or down stairs, looking out of the window of a moving car or train). Vertigo is qualified as height vertigo when referring to dizziness triggered by heights. [Source]