What is Aerophobia? 

Aerophobia is the fear of flying. It is one of the most common phobias and can be very debilitating for some people. While there are many possible causes of aerophobia, it is not always clear why some people develop this fear. Some people may have had a negative experience on a plane, while others may simply have a general anxiety disorder. 

There are a number of treatments available for aerophobia, including therapy and medication. As always, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.  

How common is aerophobia?

Fear of flying is common. Research suggests it affects about 25 million adults in the U.S.

Who is at risk for aerophobia?

Aerophobia is most common in people between the ages of 17 and 34. This is a time in life when significant changes occur, such as graduation, marriage or childbirth. People may be scared that flying jeopardizes their life at such an important time. It’s possible for someone to fly without anxiety for years, and then develop aerophobia.

What causes aerophobia?

Aerophobia usually doesn’t have a specific cause. It’s very rare for aerophobia to stem from a traumatic experience on a flight. Specific triggers might include:

  1. News stories about terrorism, crashes or violence on airplanes
  2. Take-off and landing
  3. Thoughts about fire or illness spreading through the plane
  4. Turbulence (bumps during the flight)

Other phobias can also make aerophobia worse:

  1. Acrophobia (fear of heights)
  2. Agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house or not being able to escape from a place or get help if something goes wrong)
  3. Anthropophobia (fear of people)
  4. Claustrophobia (fear of crowded, confined spaces)
  5. Mysophobia (germaphobia, or fear of germs)

What are the symptoms of aerophobia?

If you have aerophobia, you might avoid flying at all costs. This could mean missing family vacations or refusing to travel for work. You might insist on other modes of transportation, such as cars, buses or trains. Even if they are less convenient than flying. If you have aerophobia, you might also avoid movies, books or news stories that relate to air travel. Or you may become obsessed with learning about security measures at airports and on planes.

It’s also possible for people with aerophobia to have panic attacks before or during a flight. Symptoms may include:

  1. Chills
  2. Dizziness and lightheadedness
  3. Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis)
  4. Heart palpitations
  5. Nausea
  6. Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  7. Trembling or shaking
  8. Upset stomach or indigestion (dyspepsia)

Aerophobia is the fear of flying. While some may see it as a minor inconvenience, for others, it can be a debilitating phobia that significantly impacts their quality of life. People with aerophobia may experience a wide range of symptoms, including intense anxiety, fear, and panic attacks. In some cases, they may be unable to fly at all, while others may only be able to do so if they are accompanied by a trusted friend or family member. Those with aerophobia may also avoid taking trips outside of the country, or even to other areas of the city. 

What are the effects? 

Aerophobia can be debilitating in its chronic and severe forms. If not treated, it can lead to panic attacks, depression, and other issues. 

How is it diagnosed?  

An evaluation by a doctor is required to diagnose aerophobia. This includes a physical examination, psychological evaluation, and tests that test for anxiety disorders.  

How is it treated?  

Aerophobia can be treated with the help of a mental health professional who specializes in treating mental health conditions. Aerophobia is the fear of flying. It is a common phobia and can be treated in a variety of ways. One way to treat aerophobia is to desensitize the person to flying. This can be done by gradually exposing the person to airplane-related objects and situations. Another way to treat aerophobia is through cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people change their thoughts and behaviors about flying. Some people may also need medication to help them overcome their fear of flying. Medication may include antidepressants, beta blockers, or antianxiety medications.  

How is aerophobia diagnosed?

There isn’t a specific diagnostic test for aerophobia. Your healthcare provider will carefully review your symptoms and ask you a variety of questions about your fear of flying. Aerophobia can range from mild (you will fly if you have to, but it makes you anxious) to severe (you have refused to fly for more than five years). 

Your healthcare provider may diagnose you with a specific phobic disorder, such as aerophobia, if you:

  1. Develop symptoms at the thought of the fearful object or situation, such as airplanes or air travel.
  2. Experience your fear for six months or longer.
  3. Go out of your way to avoid the object or situation you fear.
  4. Have difficulty functioning at home, work or in social situations due to your fear.

How is aerophobia managed?

Many people can work on overcoming their fear of flying with psychotherapy. Your healthcare provider may recommend:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) 

CBT focuses on helping you change the way you think about flying. It might include learning about how planes work, or reviewing safety statistics for air travel versus other forms of travel. Your therapist can also teach you techniques to manage certain triggers. For example, deep breathing or meditation during take-off, landing or turbulence can reduce your symptoms of anxiety. You can also learn to “talk back” to negative thoughts about flying when they arise.

Exposure therapy 

This type of therapy gradually exposes you to places, thoughts or situations that relate to air travel. You may visit an airport and watch planes arrive and depart. Virtual reality tools, such as computer simulations of flights, can also help you overcome your fear of flying.


It may be one-on-one with a therapist or in a group setting. Some cities in the U.S. have group therapy programs at airports that include a “graduation flight” at the end of the treatment program.

Group Therapy

Group classes may help those experiencing a more mild fear of flying with no underlying physical or mental-health issues. These classes often last two to three days and give people a chance to meet with pilots and learn about planes and the measures taken for optimal safety. You may even be given an opportunity to board a plane.


Medication is not very effective for the long-term management of aerophobia or other specific phobic disorders. But if you have to fly and worry about having a panic attack. Your healthcare provider may recommend anti-anxiety drugs on an as-needed basis.

Is there a way to prevent aerophobia?

There isn’t a way to prevent aerophobia. But you can reduce its effects on your life by:

  1. Avoiding things that can make anxiety worse, such as caffeine, drugs or alcohol.
  2. Sharing your fears and anxieties with a support system of family members, friends or peers.
  3. Talking to your healthcare provider about your concerns.

What are the complications of Aerophobia? 

Aerophobia is the fear of flying. It is considered an irrational fear because, statistically, flying is one of the safest ways to travel. Despite this, aerophobia affects an estimated 6-8% of the population. While some people may only experience a mild fear of flying, others may have a full-blown panic attack every time they step on a plane. The complications of aerophobia can be far-reaching. 

For example, someone with a severe fear of flying may avoid traveling altogether, which can impact their job, education, and social life. 

Additionally, those with aerophobia are often more susceptible to anxiety and depression.

 Is acrophobia and aerophobia same?

What Is Acrophobia? Acrophobia is defined as a fear of heights. 

Unlike a specific phobia such as aerophobia, which is the fear of flying, acrophobia can cause you to fear a variety of things related to being far from the ground.

What are some facts about aerophobia?

People who have aerophobia experience persistent and intense anxiety when they think about flying or when they travel by air.

Physical symptoms 

Physical symptoms of the fear of flying may include:

  1. Chills
  2. Choking sensations
  3. Clouded thinking
  4. Disorientation
  5. Flushed skin
  6. Gastrointestinal upset
  7. Increased heart rate
  8. Irritability

How can you help someone with aerophobia?

Aerophobia is typically treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Anti-anxiety medications can help manage symptoms before and during a flight. Exposure therapy is commonly used to treat aerophobia, by allowing an individual to become gradually more adjusted to the ideas and sensations of flying.


Estimates for prevalence have ranged between 2.5% and 40%. Estimates on the lower end are probably generated through studies where the condition is diagnosed by a professional. And the higher end probably includes people who have diagnosed themselves


How can you prevent Aerophobia from developing? 

Aerophobia is the fear of flying. It is one of the most common fears in the world, and it can keep people from traveling or participating in activities that require air travel. While there is no one cure for aerophobia, there are steps that can be taken to help prevent it from developing. 

One of the most important things is to understand what causes your fear of flying and work to address those issues. There are also a number of relaxation techniques that can be used to help ease anxiety and calm the mind before and during a flight. 

If you are struggling with aerophobia, don’t hesitate to seek help from a therapist or counselor who can assist you in overcoming your fear. 

How to Overcome Aerophobia 

Aerophobia is the fear of flying. It is one of the most common phobias, affecting millions of people worldwide. While there are many treatments available, not all of them work for everyone. In this article, we will discuss some of the most effective methods for overcoming aerophobia. You can follow the links below to learn more about each of the methods. 

The most effective methods are those that work quickly and don’t leave you feeling overwhelmed by the experience. The methods below can help you overcome your fear of flying:        

  • Learn to Relax While Applying Techniques for Overcoming Aerophobia 
  • Many people with aerophobia find it difficult to relax during a flight. 
  • This can be caused by nervousness and/or other issues 
  • If you find it difficult to relax during a flight, read this article on how to overcome your fear of flying in the comfort of your own home. 

Is fear of flying a mental illness?

Flying Phobia (also referred to as aviophobia and fear of flying) is an anxiety disorder, which is classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) as a Specific Phobia.

Does your stomach drop on a plane?

This is the section of the skydive that many people worry will cause a stomach-dropping sensation. So, at the moment you fall from the aircraft, does your stomach drop when you skydive? The simple answer is NO.

Is it silly to be scared of flying?

According to research by the National Institute of Mental Health in America. Between 2.5 to 6.5 percent people polled have a full blown flying phobia. Which can be defined as an intense, though irrational, fear.

Tips for Travelling with Aerophobia 

Aerophobia, or fear of flying, is a common phobia that can make traveling difficult. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are some tips that can help make traveling with aerophobia easier. One tip is to try and get comfortable with the idea of flying before your trip. This may mean watching videos about flying or reading articles online. It can also be helpful to talk to someone who has flown before about their experience. 

It’s also important to find a flight that works for you. Some people find it helpful to fly early in the morning or late at night when there are fewer people on the plane. You may also want to consider sitting in an aisle seat so you can easily get up if needed. A final tip is to take a look at your overall travel plans before you leave. If you are flying alone, it can be helpful to consider taking a flight that only takes one stop or flies directly from one point to another.

What questions should you ask your doctor?

You may want to ask your healthcare provider:

  1. Can medication help me get through a flight without panicking?
  2. Do I need psychotherapy and for how long?
  3. How can I find support for aerophobia?
  4. Will I ever get over my fear of flying?


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