Despite the close association of convergence and accommodation, accommodative dysfunction is not often associated etiologically with exotropia. We studied 13 adolescent and young adults having intermittent exotropia and severely reduced accommodative function. Most patients had a prolonged history of visual symptoms that had not responded to therapy in the past. Clinical testing indicated that the patients had severely reduced amplitudes of accommodation and difficulty sustaining accommodation. Exotropia was manifest when the accommodative response was inadequate; relative orthophoria existed when the accommodative response was adequate. Treatment of the accommodative defect as well as the strabismus was successful for some patients. We recommend careful evaluation of accommodation for adolescent and young adults with exotropia to rule out an accommodative defect as a contributing cause.