In-Store Exclusive Offerings

Eye Examinations - Staff

Laurrine McGowan, ABOC
Dr. Matthew Kent, OD, PA
Dr. Balamurali Ambati, MD
Mariana Springs, ABOC, NCLE
Katrina Boelsma, ABOC
Gigi Groff


Monday - Saturday
10am to 6pm

Sunday (Seasonal)
12pm to 5pm 



One glance at co-owner Laurrine McGowan is all it takes to understand the aesthetic of Sun Valley’s Armstrong-Root Opticians: minimal, elegant, and precise. From the clean lines of the boutique eyewear gallery to the designer frames on display within, everything at Armstrong-Root feels stylish and crisp. “Since Armstrong-Root opened, the idea has been to combine fashion, state of the art eye health exams, and quality at the highest level,” says McGowan. “We provide a unique blend of sophistication and luxury. The experience and service here really are like no other store.”

It comes as no surprise that Armstrong-Root possesses such a seamless design aesthetic. Although the store has been a staple for eyewear enthusiasts in the valley for two decades, it began business in 1987 in Bel Air and Brentwood, California, near the center of the entertainment industry. By focusing on customer service, personal style, and high fashion, the store quickly garnered a reputation as the best place to find quality eyewear in West Los Angeles. Over the next decade, Armstrong-Root expanded, opening stores in California, Utah, and Idaho, and developing its own line of designer frames. In 2001, the California and Utah operations were sold to Oliver Peoples (a division of Luxotica). McGowan carries on the Armstrong-Root legacy in Sun Valley, serving a cadre of devoted customers from around the world. 

This statement is no exaggeration. “We have customers from across the U.S. and abroad who will only purchase eyewear from Armstrong-Root in Sun Valley,” notes McGowan. In fact, the store’s website is packed with testimonials by highly satisfied customers from New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and elsewhere. In part, these customers return for the fashionable frames from designers such as Shamballa, Chrome Hearts, Barton Perreira, Robert Marc, Oliver Peoples, and Clayton Franklin. For a small store in a small community, Armstrong-Root offers an amazingly wide variety of frames, ranging from trendy and retro to classic and chic. “We truly provide the best selection of eyewear available,” says McGowan. “We feature the most reputable manufacturers and designers, and we also have our own hand-made brand, Armstrtong-Root Classics.”

The eyewear may be the main draw, but customers also return to Armstrong-Root for the exceptional and personalized service provided by McGowan and her staff. From selecting a frame and fitting the glasses, to follow-up service including repairs, adjustments, and cleaning, Armstrong-Root makes the experience of purchasing eyewear thoroughly enjoyable. McGowan takes this professionalism and attention to detail one step further, sending every customer a personalized, handwritten thank-you card for doing business with Armstrong-Root. Little wonder that many people, after their first time shopping at the store, become dedicated, life-long customers.


The Best Science in Eye Health

The experience is made even better by Armstrong-Root’s equal focus on vision testing and diagnostics. The medical staff includes optometrist Dr. Matthew Kent, as well as three certified opticians and a national certified contact lens examiner, all of whom share McGowan’s commitment to quality eye care. This commitment is nowhere more apparent than in Armstrong-Root’s recent investment in a state-of-the-art EIDON true color confocal scanning ophthalmoscope.

“We have the only EIDON  diagnostic equipment available in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana,” says McGowan with a note of pride. This diagnostic component, unparalleled in the area, is a tremendous acquisition for the store, as it offers an unprecedented level of diagnostic accuracy. The device provides true color, high-resolution imaging of the retina with greater contrast than a traditional diagnostic camera can achieve. Because the scanner uses white light instead of monochromatic lasers to obtain an image, the retina appears as it actually looks in true color, allowing doctors to make more accurate diagnoses and observations. No dilation of the pupil is required to obtain high-resolution images, and exam time per eye generally stands at one minute or less. The scanner allows for imaging in infrared and red-free modes as well, enhancing the visibility of the retinal vasculature and nerve fibers. Unlike traditional imaging equipment, the scanner can penetrate dense cataracts and is especially beneficial for treating patients with serious vision and optical problems such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, sudden vision loss, and diabetic retinopathy.

“The EIDON scanner allows us to provide a level of diagnostic care generally found only in large metropolitan areas,” notes McGowan. With help from the new scanner, Armstrong-Root’s staff will be able to treat patients using the most sophisticated clinical diagnosis possible, and to follow the progression of eye problems with a high degree of accuracy, year after year. Formerly, patients would have had to travel out of state to receive this degree of care and diagnostic precision.

With its unmatched diagnostic capabilities and stylishly chic selection of designer frames, Armstrong-Root embodies the best of both worlds—vision care and fashion-forward eyewear. “We really care about our customers, and we are committed to providing comprehensive eye care for every person who walks in the door,” emphasizes McGowan. Whether you are looking for insert lenses for your ski goggles, designer frames, advanced vision testing, or even a simple smile as you have your glasses adjusted,  Armstrong- Root will be there to help.

And, you can be sure they will do so in style.

Armstrong-Root Opticians - Optometrists
649 Sun Valley Road
Ketchum, ID 83340

T: (208) 726-4250
F: (208) 727-0082