A fear of heights is generally not a great disadvantage as people who are aware that they have this fear can easily take measures to avoid exposure. However, it can mean in some cases that a person has to limit their working life, their social life and always needs to ensure that something which they will be doing will not involve great heights. A fear of heights could prevent you from working for the company or in the office of your choice. It could mean that you can not attend a reception in a top floor revolving restaurant
Some people fear any level of height and can not stand on a chair or step ladder, in case they will fall. Sometimes a fear of heights and the symptoms which occur are the result of physical impairment and if a person does not have good co-ordination or a good sense of balance then they are right in fearing to go to great heights without some measure of support. However, if someone simply will not go anywhere that is high up, even if it is completely safe from accidental fall, then it can be said that they have a phobia.
People who do not have a phobia about heights can sometimes find themselves disoriented upon looking down from a considerable height, and find to their surprise that they feel dizzy and as if about to fall and may have to walk away. Sometimes people have started to climb a hill without realizing the height that they are reaching and may experience much fear on the downward journey.
A fear of heights is also about the fear of falling. However, even if the area is completely safe, this will not always enable a person to overcome their fear. A fear of heights is also connected to a fear of voids, the great gap between you and the ground, with probably nothing in between, for some people this can create intense fear. It is probable that people who have a fear of heights will also suffer from types of agoraphobia, where large amounts of empty space surround the person. A person with a fear of heights is someone who prefers to have a solid structure around them and to have a solid base. You could say that they are a person who likes to be safely grounded, and not to go out on a limb.
Certainly there are people who are not naturally timid who will walk without a care perhaps upon a rooftop, or clean windows on a skyscraper for a living. Children also may without fear place themselves in a dangerous situation as a result of climbing up high. For children there is no fear because they have no thought to the risk to themselves, they do not think about the consequences of falling.
Part of the disorientation which can be experienced when looking down from a great height is that one's normal perception of things is altered. Large buildings may look small, cars, streets and people tiny, a sense of how far it is to the horizon and the space surrounding can be overwhelming. It may be that for some people, this change of perspective upsets something more than just their balance and that the whole spectrum of different perceptions is somehow frightening to them. Having a fear of heights is not in itself disabling, but it suggests that a person may be most comfortable when they remain in safe and predictable circumstances.
As with all phobias, work can be done, if a person wants to try, so as to reduce the fear involved. Heights can be easily worked upon to create a tolerance to ever increasing heights. Whilst it may not be cruel to their well being, anyone with a fear of heights could try to extend the heights at which they will feel comfortable, with the possibility that by doing this it will create in them an increased sense of self-confidence.