Poor diet and smoking are contributory factors to sight loss, which affects about 188,000 people in the country.
The Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) is campaigning to raise awareness of the causes and promote regular eye tests.
Director John Legg estimated that sight loss cost the NHS about £194 million a year. He said: “The annual cost of sight loss per person, alone, is about £17,600; roughly equivalent to ten hospital admissions.
“Apart from the tragic personal price to be paid, at a time when our public finances are being so tightly squeezed we need to do everything we possibly can to reduce the numbers who will need treatment.”