Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder in which a person experiences intense fear, or a panic attack, in situations that makes them feel trapped or helpless. This fear may be triggered by an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in a crowd, an enclosed area, or an open space. 
Most people with agoraphobia develop it after experiencing one or more panic attacks. This causes them to worry about having another panic attack in a place where escape may be difficult, or help would be unavailable. The resulting and persistent anxiety can have a significant effect on their quality of life.
People with agoraphobia may feel unsafe in public spaces and need a companion, such as a relative or friend, to accompany and support them. It may become so overwhelming that it is difficult for them to leave home.
Several different situations can trigger agoraphobia. The most common are listed below :
Being in a crowd or busy area,especially those with high levels of noise, such as a sports stadium
Traveling on public transportation
Hyperventilation or over breathing
Being in an enclosed area such as an elevator, tunnel, car or public bathroom
Being in open spaces such as a parking lotor shopping center
Being too far from home
Any place where the individual previously felt anxiety
The main physical symptoms of agoraphobia that occur when an individual enters an uncomfortable or stressful situation include:
A rapid or increased heart rate
Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
Chest pain or pressure in the chest
Feelings of choking or difficulty swallowing
Dizziness or light-headedness
Feeling hot or excessively sweating
Agoraphobia risk factors
Agoraphobia can appear at any age. However, it is most likely to manifest in late teens or early adult years . There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of developing agoraphobia including:
After graduating from Regis University with her Doctor of Pharmacy, Leila completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at St. Mark's Hospital (HCA) in Salt Lake City, UT, where she continued to practice for several years.
Content reviewed by a medical professional. Date reviewed: 10 January 2023