A phobia is defined as a serious fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer goes to great lengths in avoiding, typically said to be irrational. Most common phobias include spiders, snakes and heights. There are many unusual phobias such as a fear of feathers.
The word 'Pteronophobia' derives from the Greek word 'ptero' meaning a wing or feather. 'Phobia' is also a Greek word meaning fear.
There are a variety of symptoms associated with a phobia. Depending on the severity of the phobia, symtoms can include shortness of breath, trembling or shaking, chest pain or tightness, and sweating.
Many people have phobias but some people are more at risk than others. Those with a genetic predisposition for anxiety are considered more at risk to have a phobia.
The two main treatments for a phobia are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication. CBT involves being exposed to the source of fear in a controlled environment and focuses on changing negative thoughts and actions to the fear. Medication can involve antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication to lessen physical reactions to the fear.