BELL'S PALSY, named after Sir Charles Bell (q.v.), a palsy of the muscles of the face supplied by the seventh or facial nerve, and due to some peripheral lesion, in distinction to facial palsy of a central, or of a nuclear origin. It may occur on both sides of the face. The causes are many, but exposure to cold, such as sleeping in the open with the wind blowing over the face, or sitting by an open window in a railway train or steamboat, is one of the most frequent causes. It may also occur in a mul tiple neuritis that is due to poisoning by alco hol, lead, arsenic or the poison of diphtheria, etc., and in rare instances from fractures of the skull. It comes on suddenly, the patient often waking in the morning to find one side of his face stiff, and in two or three days the palsy has developed. There is a sense of discomfort on the paralyzed side. The patient cannot close one eye completely and cannot manage his food on the affected side. He cannot whistle, and his speech is peculiar. The wrinkles of the paralyzed side are smoothed out and every motion of the facial muscles seems to be an exaggerated one, so that many patients say their face is drawn to one side, the reality be ing that it is the opposite side that is affected and immovable. The paralysis usually gets
well in from three to five months, especially if the treatment is begun early and perseveringly followed out. Some patients never entirely re cover, although much improvement takes place in practically all. The treatment is electrical, massage and general tonics, the administration of iron and strychnine and treatment and re moval of the cause. Particular attention should be paid to the care of the paralyzed eyelid. (See also FACIAL PARALYSIS; PARALYSIS). Consult Starr, 'Text-book of Organic Nerve Diseases' (1903).
BELLUNO, 130-loo'no, Italy, a northern city, capital of a province of the same name, on the Piave, 48 miles north of Venice. It has a cathedral, containing some excellent paintings. The campanile is 217 feet high. There is a handsome theatre. It has manufactures of silk. straw-plait, leather and wax; the principal trade is in silk, lumber, wine and fruit. Pop. (1911) 22,342. •