Experts from the Eyecare Trust have warned that poor, unbalanced diets could be responsible for deterioration in the nation's eyesight.
The trust described the fall as "alarming" and said that the number of people registered blind or partially sighted in the UK had increased by more than 60 per cent in the last 20 years.
Research suggests that eating just three portions of fruit a day reduces the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration by more than a third.
"Age-related conditions such as cataracts, which affect more than 80 per cent of people aged 75 years and over, and macular degeneration can be prevented, slowed or even reversed by eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle," the Eyecare Trust said.
The organisation recommends that Britons eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, maintaining a low-fat diet and avoiding foods high in fat and cholesterol and eating food rich in antioxidants.
The risk of age-related eye problems can also be reduced by wearing sunglasses, stopping smoking, having regular eye examinations and reducing the amount of alcohol drunk.
"The earlier any abnormalities are detected, the better the chance of treating them successfully," the trust added.
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